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Donald Kelly, Presentation

TSE 1135: TSE Certified Sales Training Program – “Presenting In Person”

Donald Kelly, PresentationYour closing process will often require you to speak to a board or a group of people about your product or service, and you must provide value to your audience when presenting in person.

The Sales Evangelist Certified Sales Training Program provides specific sections for prospecting, building value, and converting to a paying client, and we’ve designed the training to help sellers prepare for presentations and to train their teams to do the same. It’s designed to help sales reps and sales teams improve their skills, find the right customers, adopt the right activities, ask the right questions, build strong value, and close more deals. 

Guessing game

Many situations demand that sellers meet with a team of individuals who will ask a variety of questions about the product or service. You’re wasting your time if you don’t understand the problems they need to solve or the challenges they are facing. It doesn’t make sense to play the guessing game during the limited time you have with this group of people. 

Once you understand the issue, you must also determine who the decision-makers and buyers are. You must understand the timeframe they are working against and their budget for the purchase. 

The company you’re pitching to will also bring in competitors who will pitch as well, but they aren’t your concern. 


John Livesay recently spoke about storytelling and the need to be memorable. It doesn’t matter who presents first or last, but rather who tells a better story. 

Consider having other team members attend the presentation with you and introduce themselves by telling an interesting story. Perhaps your CTO can share how his love of Legos® pushed him to create complex things and find solutions to problems. It inserts personality into the presentation. 

Tactical presentation

Make sure you know who will present information on the buyer’s behalf. Have someone from your organization research to determine who will attend.

If possible, learn what those people hope to discover from your presentation. Engage your champion, or the person you’ve been working with to this point, to find out whether you can introduce yourself prior to the presentation. When you do that, ask them what questions they’d like you to address in your presentation and then be prepared to address those specific topics. 

Once you understand who will attend and what information they’ll be seeking, you can build your presentation around those topics. 

Recruit help

If at all possible, take someone else to the presentation with you. Take several people if you can. Assemble a team of people from different departments. 

When you set up in the conference room, don’t divide yourself on opposite sides of the table. Use name cards for both groups to indicate where different people should sit. Also make sure you spell everyone’s names correctly. 

Intersperse the members of your group among the members of the company you’re pitching to. When you have breaks in the action, because the two teams are sitting together, they’ll be able to share conversation instead of squaring off like rival gangs. 

We recently used name cards for a presentation and they were a huge hit. The company was blown away by the preparation and the organization that went into the meeting. They assumed that if we were willing to invest that much preparation in a presentation like this, we’d certainly do it in our efforts to help them solve their problems. 

Control engagement

Develop slides that include imagery rather than a jumble of words. Tell a story about the problem your prospect is facing and how you can help solve it. Demonstrate your solution. 

Assign one member of your team to watch for reactions from the others in the room. Use him as a spotter. If he notices that someone is disengaged or fighting against sleep, he can signal that to you by interjecting or posing a question that will signal to you to adjust your direction. 

Have him watch for body language that indicates interest or to take note of those people who are jotting down things while you’re talking.

If, for example, the IT director takes lots of notes during the presentation, at the break I could suggest to the presenters that we talk a bit about IT and the most common questions we hear. 

Business case

Thank your champion in front of the entire group for making the presentation possible. Make her feel good in front of her colleagues. 

Then begin the work of building a business case for your prospect. Explain that you’ll answer the questions they submitted ahead of time and address the challenges you see based on the lessons you’ve learned. Describe how you’ve solved these problems for others and how you’ll translate that to this organization. 

Talk about how much the problem is likely costing the company and why they need to fix it. Explain how you’ll help, and do it all using stories. 

Virtual meetings

You can apply many of these same concepts to your virtual meetings as well. Although you can’t intersperse the participants, you can consider sending some treats that will arrive prior to the presentation. You can even send treats that somehow tie to the presentation you’ll be making, like Swedish Fish to make the case that you’re going to help them land bigger clients. 

Work to stand out from the pack by being unique and telling an amazing story. 

Action plan

When the meeting is complete, everyone in that room should leave feeling like they participated and like they were fulfilled by what happened. Then provide a specific action plan for what happens next. 

Present a few different options for ways to move forward. Give them time frames and explain the steps required to progress. 

I conduct presentations this way and they work well for me and for the people I’m presenting to. I want you to realize the same benefits in your own presentations.

“Presenting In Person” episode resources

If you haven’t connected with me on LinkedIn already, do that at Donald C. Kelly and watch the things I’m sharing there. I’m fairly easy to connect with. Just comment on something about my podcast. Send me an email.

You’ve heard us talk about the TSE Certified Sales Training Program, and we’re offering the first module free as a gift to you. Preview it. Check it out. If it makes sense for you to join, you can be part of our upcoming semester. You can take it on your own or as part of the semester group.

If you and your team are interested in learning more, we’d love to have you join us. Call (561) 578-1729 to speak directly to me or one of our team members about the program.

This episode is also brought to you in part by, a Chrome browser extension for Gmail that allows you to track and schedule your emails. You’ll receive real-time alerts anyone opens an email or clicks a link.

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Donald Kelly.

TSE 550: TSE Hustler’s League-“Great Presentations”

Donald Kelly.

Presentation, Demo, Donald Kelly, The Sales Evangelist Podcast

How are you bringing value to the table? How do you make yourself stand out from the pack? This week, we pulled out yet another snippet from one of our previous sessions over at the TSE Hustler’s League where we talked about building value, specifically about giving great presentations.

There are basically two problems that I’ve seen with many salespeople giving presentations. First, they only give what they want to give. Second, they give presentations at the wrong time. And when you do these things, you don’t actually get what you want to get. So what do you have to do?

Strategies for Giving Great Presentations:

  1. The Discovery Meeting

After grabbing a prospect’s attention and you’ve set a discovery meeting, this is clearly an opportunity for you to dig in deeper and discover more about the client. So you have to come prepared with some questions which are questions your prospects will be happy you asked them. Ask them questions that help build value, that help them to think, and help them to realize they need it, and ultimately, help them want to buy from you rather than you trying to sell them.

One of the biggest mistakes of people giving presentations is failure to have this discovery meeting. And once they’ve presented, the clients would just tell them they’d keep in touch. So please… never skip this part of the process. Take notes!

  1. A Creative Alternative

Sometimes, people want to really want to see what you have and get an understanding. This is where a 5-minute demonstration would come in handy. For example, have a video on your website or a video you can send them. The key thing to remember is to not waste your time with people who are not qualified. If they don’t have a problem you can solve or they don’t have the money, you’re going to be wasting your time with that meeting. So give them an alternative by creating a simple video on your website to give them the opportunity to see what you can offer. Give them value.

  1. The Demonstration Mode

There are several things to keep in mind when giving presentations. Again, be sure to take notes after each discovery meeting which you can utilize for the next meeting. This is the key to customizing your presentation.

Here are examples of the things you want to find out during your discovery meeting:

  • Their pain
  • What they want to know or learn
  • How you can help them
  • What they’ve done so far and what they’re currently doing
  • Who their ideal customers are and how to find them

Using these pieces of information, utilize their words and their verbiage and put that in your presentation.

  1. Starting Off with a Compliment

Start off your presentations by complimenting them in a genuine way. Find out things about them on their website or look up their social media accounts or do a quick Google search about their company. Look for anything you can compliment them on. This shows them that you did your research and this makes them feel good about themselves. As human beings, we want to feel important and cared for.

  1. Complimenting Your Champion

Anyone who tried to help you get into an organization is your champion and be sure to compliment them to make them feel good as well. Share something which they did and that would make them feel good being given compliments in front of their peers.

  1. It’s Not About You!

Never forget to review the agenda of what you’re going over. The goal is to get people from Point A to Point B. Do not over-complicate presentations and talk all about yourself. It’s not about you. It’s about them. Focus your presentations on your prospects.

Episode Resources:

Interested in becoming a member of the TSE Hustler’s League? Please register, drop us a message, chat with one of our members, and see if it’s a good fit for you.

Check out our Facebook group, The Sales Evangelizers

Predictable Prospecting by Jeremy Donovan and Marylou Tyler

Get a free audiobook download and a 30-day free trial at with over 180,000 titles to choose from for your iPhone, Android, Kindle or mp3 player.

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.

James Muri, Donald Kelly, The Perfect Close

TSE 513: How To Craft The Perfect Close Every Time

James Muri, Donald Kelly, The Perfect CloseThe CLOSE is one of the most interesting parts of the whole selling process. While most sellers highly anticipate this, it’s also one major area where people make several mistakes in. Our guest today, James Muir, shares with us how you can be more effective through making the perfect close every single time.

James Muir is the author of The Perfect Close: The Secret to Closing Sales – The Bestselling Practices and Techniques for Closing the Deal. James is a Corporate Trainer and Executive Coach who specializes in B2B complex sales, helping salespeople and B2B executives become as effective as they can be.

You may have heard a lot these concepts already but oftentimes, we don’t basically apply the things we know or we know we should be doing. So pay attention. Take notes. And most importantly, take action.
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Here are the highlights of my conversation with James:

Why another book on sales:

  • James discovered the need for a book about closing because he noticed many mistakes done by salespeople on closing sales.
  • People don’t ask for a sale at all or any commitment; in fact, in 50-90% of all sales encounters.
  • A problem of skill (not knowing how) and will (attitude) – The will problem is the most common reason people don’t ask.
  • There is so much dysfunctional selling out there and people are afraid of rejection.
  • 99% of closing methods being taught are manipulative.

Examples of a “manipulative” close:

  • Assumptive close
  • It’s when you try to push the customer faster than they’re ready for that they start to feel being manipulated.

Some Principles of the Perfect Close:

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  1. Figure out the two questions you’re going to ask near the end of the meeting that advances the sale to the next step.

The saying that “selling is everything you do” is not very actionable.

  1. Come in with the right intent.

Intent matters more than technique. Your voice and body languages are sending messages and all this is happening in the first few seconds. You have to come in with the right intent and your body will be sending all the right signals. Otherwise, your prospect will hold information from you and the process now becomes dysfunctional.

  1. Selling is serving.

Understand that each solution you sell helps another person so helping that person move towards that goal is an act of service. Don’t get so caught up in “what’s in it for you” that you tend to forget your goal of helping the client.

  1. Be a better coach and a better teacher.

Clients want a guide that’s going to help them through each little commitment that takes them to achieve their goal. It’s more than selling. It’s leadership. So be a better teacher and a better problem-solver.

  1. Move the sale forward in a little way.

This is taken from Neil Rackham’s concept of advance where you make little advances to create a momentum towards closing the sale. It involves several little “asks” on the way to the big “ask.” Spend time to figure out what are the little steps in your kind of sale that will lead up to your bigger sale.

  1. Have an ideal advance with a couple of alternatives.

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Closing variation #1: The Fallback

Use an alternative in the most natural way to fall back to another possible option. If they say it doesn’t make sense for them to x then you’re going to say, “Other clients this stage tend to do y. Does it make sense for you to do that?” By giving them a logical next step, you’re helping them through their buying process.

Closing variation #2: The Add On

Instead of you saying what’s the good next step, ask if there are any other logical steps you should be taking right now. This allows you to pace your advance at the rate that the client is ready for. Remember, it’s when you start to push them faster that they’d start to feel manipulated.

  1. Create agendas.

At the bottom of your agenda, put your next steps and that’s the moment you’re going to ask how your ideal advance is.

  1. At its core, the perfect close is not a closing question, but a timing question.

Asking for the timing leaves you on a much higher emotional ground than any of the other questions out there. Also, it allows you gauge how engaged they are in the process so this is perfect for pacing.

James’s Major Takeaway:

Intent matters more than technique. If people can see you’re genuinely trying to help them, they will let you help them. Get your intent in the right place and everything else will follow. Be with the customer and be present. Just try to figure out how you can help them out.

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Episode Resources:

Connect with James on his website and follow him on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.

The Perfect Close: The Secret to Closing Sales – The Bestselling Practices and Techniques for Closing the Deal (Download their models on their website including The 7 Deadly Miss of Closing)

Tired of sharing old, boring proposals to your prospects? Check out PandaDoc. Create electronic proposals to your prospects. Sign and receive payments without leaving your CRM. To get a quick demonstration and a free trial, go to

What do you like about our podcast? Kindly leave us some rating and/or review on iTunes. This would mean so much to me.

Donald Kelly, PandaDoc

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TSE 018: What Can I Do To Offer A Great Sales Presentation?

Donald Kelly During this episode I answer a question regarding what it takes to offer a great sales presentation. This is a question that most sellers and entrepreneurs ask because they feel it is a crucial part of they’re selling process.

I sought out two experts to address this topic over the next couple episodes. One of them is Ryan Avery, a World Champion of Public Speaking. The other is Patricia Fripp, who is an expert speaker who coaches top executives on public speaking, sales presentations and keynote speaking. Each have very specific answers that will help you create that unbelievable sales presentation.

For now you get the chance to hear my answer and what I feel has helped my sales presentations become top notch. One of the most important is that I don’t give my presentation right up front. I wait until the buyer and I have discussed thoroughly specific challenges, I make sure that I am speaking with someone who has the power to say yes (decision maker) and I make sure that they are capable of purchasing.

I then refer to the first step where we set the rules before hand and discuss the challenges in detail and craft the demonstration around that. I speak specifically to what they want to see and need to get fixed. NOT to what my company or I feel is cool to demonstrate. This is very crucial to understand. You must speak to the buyers “WHY”. Meaning, why would they buy your solution? Why are they facing these challenges and why do they need to change? There is a “WHY” with every buyer, the core that is going to make them take actions. This is what their “PERCEIVED VALUE” is. This is your responsibility to discover this and offer a solution. When you do, the buyer will “perceive you and your solution to be valuable” and then you will more than likely have a new client.

As you listen to the episode you will see how I skillfully accomplish this and reduce the time I spent on a specific demo by more than 88% of the normal time. I know you will enjoy it.




Katherine Kotaw

TSE 015: Communicating Your Value with Katherine Kotaw

Katherine KotawDo you really know how to build a relationship that will transform prospects into long time clients? On today’s episode, Katherine Kotaw explains how properly communicating your value will help you build strong relationships with your prospects.

Katherine is the CEO of KOTAW Content Marketing, an international marketing agency headquartered in Los Angeles. Katherine is the queen of story telling and has mastered the art of presenting value. She is a New York Times-acclaimed writer. Katherine and her KOTAW team currently help Fortune 500 and smaller brands build their brand and how to market themselves properly.

Here are some of the major take aways from this episode:

  • Build a relationship first instead of going for the sale
  • Brand yourself before someone else does
  • People want to make a connection with you, use those social media sites wisely
  • Learn  the real definition of communication and how to use it
  • Learn effective ways to personally connect with your prospects
  • A great presentation is more than just a fancy powerpoint
  • Seek to connect with your audience by “feeling” the mood of the room
  • Seek to become a great story teller because people always love a good story

You can connect with Katherine at She is also on LinkedIn , TwitterGoogle+ or Facebook.