I wanted to share an idea with you. Last week I was at a presentation with Jill Konrath and she shared two data points. Number one: According to research, executives felt that the salesperson sitting across them trying to sell them something, 87% of those salespeople were not prepared for that meeting.

My hypothesis would be that most of those salespeople thought that they were prepared. So there is a disconnect there. The second idea that Jill shared was something called ‘barring the brain’. Let’s say if you want to solve a marketing problem and you can’t figure it out, you could think, ‘who’s the most talented marketing person I know? If I was them, how would I see that problem?’ And you probably have an example of that in your life when you were a kid maybe and asking permission to a concert, you could think, ‘I could ask my dad’ And you kind of ‘barred’ his brain to try to figure out the best way you could position this so he says yes. So in logical terms or neuroscience terms this is called Perceptual Positioning. What if you could borrow your customer’s brain before you went into that meeting, you use something called ‘perceptual positioning’ and you borrowed their brain and figured out what would they want to see in this presentation. What would be relevant to them, what would move this conversation to a ‘yes’ faster from their point of view? Get that insight and then tailor your presentation with that data in mind. So the question is, how do you use this perceptual positioning? One of the ways is that you can create two markers on the floor; one represents you so you can stand in that and the other one represents the customer. Basically walking to their side of the desk, and seeing your presentation from their eyes has a profound impact on what’s missing and what’s needed. Sure, you can do that in your head but sometimes it is hard to really get a good sense of things. So I would suggest for you to get the essence of your message, stand on one side of your room and say this is whom I’m messaging, then step on the other side of the room and see it from the customer’s point of view. When you do that, you will immediately feel the need for the things that were missing. Then you can go back and rehearse what you need to do.

About the author 

Umar Hameed


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