Years ago, I was taught that you had to deliver a powerful “close.” You almost had to strong-arm people into doing what you wanted, and it didn’t feel good to me. Getting people to do something they don’t want to do isn’t fun. Everybody feels uncomfortable…Uh-oh. Here comes the catch. They stop listening and start wishing they were somewhere else.
Today, I understand that if you’re truly helping people solve a problem, you don’t have to force it. There’s no “catch.” From the beginning, the presentation is a collaborative effort, starting with your understanding of what the audience really wants. You focus them on that, and they start responding to you. Every response they have brings them closer to taking the action you want them to take at the end, which will be a win-win—good for them and good for you. This is called the “invisible call to action,” because instead of broadcasting “THIS IS THE
process of leading people to do something they truly want to do.
It’s been proven that when a person takes a series of small actions (agreements), they are more likely to take a bigger action or make a larger agreement with you. One study had researchers come into a neighborhood with a huge billboard, asking people to post it on their front lawns for thirty days. The billboard promoted something almost everybody supports: stop drunk driving. But most of the homeowners balked. So the researchers went back to ask if they could put a much smaller poster in people’s front yards, and a majority of people in the neighborhood agreed. Thirty days later, the researchers came back to ask if they could now put the
big billboards up, and what happened? About one-third of the homeowners agreed to do it! Their small commitment made it much easier to take on the larger one.
The keys to applying this technique are:
1.Believe that what you are offering your audience has tremendous value to them and that you’re there to help them.
2.From the beginning to the end of your presentation, get agreement from your audience by asking questions like, “Does that makes sense?” and “Can you see how that would work for you?”
3.Be confident and relaxed to the end of your presentation, knowing that you’re there to help, and your self-worth will not be decided by their acceptance or rejection of your offer.