Learn the Secret of Socratic Presentations

Is it any wonder most people run to avoid network marketers?

One has only to listen to how the network marketing opportunity is presented to see why. Here’s the breakdown of what most mlmers say to the poor would-be recruit:

About the company: “Blah, blah, this is a ten year old company that is already listed on the S & P 500, blah, blah.”
About the product: “Blah, blah, this product will burn off fat faster than a million EZ Bake Ovens on steroids, blah, blah.”
About the compensation plan: “Blah, blah, this plan is a hybrid, super-compensating binary, matrix, break away, thingy plan that forces all the top producers upline into your compensation pool, blah, blah.”
What all these dismal presentations have in common is that they are not about the prospect and what the prospect wants or needs.

Have you ever told someone they could become rich when all they really wanted was to spend more time at home with their family? Not good.

So how do you tell people about your opportunity? You put the focus on what the prospect wants.

John, on the phone, you suggested that you might be interested in starting a home-based business. But before we get into that, perhaps you could tell me what changes you are wanting to make in your life that made you look into home-based business opportunities?

Or
John, I would like to explain a project I’m working on that I think could help a lot of us financially. But before we do that, tell me about your situation and why you think an extra income could make a difference in your life right now?

Or
Jane, I appreciate your meeting with me today. I’ve brought some material here that show what I think is an astoundingly unique opportunity. But before we get started on that, what is your perspective on potentially forming a mutually beneficial partnership?

Or
Sandra, it was very kind of you to meet with us today. We’re here to talk about an exciting opportunity that we believe could make us set financially for the rest of our lives. But before we get started, could you tell us why you agreed to meet with us and what you hope this business might be able to do for you?

Or
Kim, it was very gracious of you to invite me into your home to talk about what I believe is the most exciting business opportunity available today. But before we get into that, tell me about yourself and why you happened to be looking into home-based business opportunities at this time?
Notice that all of these openers invite the prospect to get the ball rolling and talk about themselves and why they indicated at least a little bit of interest.

These questions are called “Socratic Questions,” and I learned the format from a book called, Socratic Selling by Kevin Daley and Emmett Wolfe. I strongly encourage you to go on Amazon and order a copy of this book for yourself.

Socratic questions get the other person to do most of the talking. But also, they invite them to show you what they want.

Why would you waste time talking about your product, the company or the compensation plan to a single mom who just wants to be able to stay home with her kids? Why would you go on and on about anything other than the answer to that person’s needs?

Employ Socratic Questions in your next presentation or one-on-one meeting over a cup of coffee. When you try this method, you will have the feeling that you are gently pulling someone along who wants to be led along anyway.

Contrast that to the feeling you probably associate with your previous presentations in which you are pushing and chasing. There really is a better way.

Use Perception to Negotiate Successfully

When you negotiate, to what degree do you think the words you use and your body language impact the perception that occurs during the negotiation?

Recently a pastor made what some people perceived to be very incendiary comments about the United States. Some considered his words to be ludicrous; it sent them reeling, while others embraced them with praise. Some assailed his words, while others thought his words were reflective of the reality they had lived. Some people made comments about his body language being threatening, while others felt uplifted by those same non verbal gestures.

Whose perception was accurate? To the degree that it’s the perception, opinions, and views of those that hold them, all of them are right.

When you negotiate with people, you have to consider their background, ethnicity, gender, and the way in which they view the world. That’s to say, you have to understand how they perceive that which is pat of their environment, their life, along with the customs and life experiences from which their opinions stem.

You can’t use the exact same tactics and strategies in every situation, with everyone in the same manner. In essence, you have to tailor your negotiations to fit the environment in which you are negotiating. Remember, people really do live in their own little worlds.

When you negotiate, always take into account the manner in which people view you and perceive their environment as a reflection of and through you. (e.g. What is she/he thinking about me? What perception I’m I projecting?) People will prejudge you, label you, and cast their perception of you, upon you, when negotiating.

As you go deeper into the negotiation, keep in mind the outlook and opinions the other person possesses of the world. Paint your expression about the items of discussion in the similar words, gestures, and circumstances that they use. In essence, speak their language. If you fail to do so, you will be sending a subtle, unspoken and hidden signal that indicates you’re not ‘like them’. If they feel, “you’re not like them”, they’ll be less likely to be like you and thus, they will like you less.

You can propose positions and/or demands in a searing manner, or have your positions perceived as such, depending upon the stance you project or take. If you comprehend, appreciate, and negotiate to the level of understanding and perception that appeases the person you’re negotiating with, you may be allowed to maintain your position. In essence, you’ll be given a pass.

It really depends upon the level of understanding you have of the person you’re negotiating with and the way you implement your level of understanding. You don’t want to appear to be ‘shaking the cup’ with dark glasses on, or pandering. You should project your point with convection and truth without being threatening, always considering how you’re being perceived. 

If you negotiate from a position of understanding and respect for the other person’s background, fears and apprehensions, you’ll move closer to achieving the goals of the negotiation. By taking into account how the other person’s perception is based on their ‘life experiences’, and implementing your negotiation strategy around that perception, your negotiation outcomes will become more successful … and everything will be right with the world.

The negotiation lessons are …

·       When negotiating, always understand the mental makeup of the person you’re negotiating with. If you match their mode of thinking and the manner by which they process information, you can negotiate with them from the same outlook they possess. By doing so, the negotiation session should go smother than might have otherwise occurred.

·       To the degree you understand your negotiation partner, you’ll have better insight into ‘what makes them tick’. If you understand that aspect of their makeup, you’ll be less likely to tick them off.

·       In a lot of cases, the more you appear to be like the person you’re negotiating with and understand the values they hold dear, the more they will like you. All things being equal, in liking you they will be more apt and willing to strive for the same conclusion to the outcome you seek.

How to Control the Butterflies and Survive Your Next Workshop Presentation

Feeling some nervousness before and during your workshop is a natural thing. Actually, I rather have some butterflies than a bumblebee flying around in my stomach. It protects me from getting stung with the venom of cocky. But, too much nervousness can be harmful. Here’s how you can control your nervousness and conduct effective, memorable presentations:

1. Know the room.

Be familiar with the place in which you will speak. Arrive early.
I usually suggest no less than 6o minutes before the start of your session.
Practice using the microphone and any other audiovisual equipment you plan to use.

2. Know the audience.

Greet your participants as they arrive. It’s easier to
speak to a group of new friends than to a group of strangers.

3. Know your material.

If you’re not familiar with your material or are uncomfortable with it, your nervousness will increase. Practice the delivery of your workshop. If you must refer to a prepared script than practice reading sections and maximize eye contact with your audience.

4. Relax.

Ease tension by doing exercises and stretches. Simple push-ups on the wall can work wonders. However, you do other things like practicing your smile and stretching your face muscles. Don’t forget to stretch those neck muscles too. Oops did I mention deep breathing?

5. Visualize yourself giving your workshop the days before and as you travel to the workshop site.

Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear, and confident. See your participants looking attentive and interactive. When you visualize yourself doing a good job, you will be successful.

6. Believe that people want you to succeed.

Most workshop participants want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative, and entertaining.
They don’t want you to fail. Don’t you feel the same way about your trainer and facilitator when you are a workshop participant?

7. Don’t apologize.

If you mention your nervousness or apologize for any problems you think you have with your presentation, you may be calling the audience’s attention to something they may not have noticed. Keep silent. Remember -if you point to the sweat, they will see it!

8. FOCUS on your important messages.

Focus your attention away from your own inner anxieties, and outwardly toward your messages and your audience. Your nervousness will dissipate.

9. Gain experience by presenting as often as you can.

Experience builds confidence. Like any skills set -the more you do it the better you will get! That includes mistakes. Also, check out a Toastmasters club in your area. It is a great place to build your confidence for workshops and speeches. (www.Toastmasters.org)
10. Put your butterflies into a flying formation by turning your nervousness into positive energy.

Harness your nervous energy and transform it into vitality and enthusiasm. Allow your passion to ooze out whenever possible.