How I Created Success Through Selling

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Carleen Franklin

Okeechobee, Florida

In 21 years as distributor & sales manager of an international direct sales company, I attended more than eighty 3 to 5 day conferences with speakers such as Zig Ziglar, Rosita Perez, Denis Waitley, Charles Jarvis, Ira hayes, Dr. Robert Schuller and the most popular motivational speakers. I attended weekly sales meetings with equally renowned speakers. Hearing so many, one tend to get blase; however, I always benefited and usually needed their messages. Humans are a lot like computers, we constantly need reprogramming. Even the finest musical instrument frequently needs re-tuning.

Our business (my husband was my partner) grew a respectable amount each year. After 8 years, I learned a sales technique I called "Success Through Selling." I was so excited about the concept I taught it to my sales managers and anyone else in the company who would listen -- sometimes holding as many as 4 classes a week in a 100 square mile area. Our business DOUBLED in just 2-1/2 years.

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Lengthy introductions are boring and frequently block audience response! After attending all these conferences, workshops, seminars, and training classes, it took a lot to improve me - message wise! I realized "The message is the reason I'm here - not the personality delivering it!"

Carrying this feeling into OUR speaking career, we offer the meeting planner the "shortest to none" introduction possible. We completely disarm our audience by telling them there's nothing new in motivation nor inspiration and everything we say they have heard before, possibly many times. This way the information is not over-shadowed by their initial reaction to information about us.

Today's television generation has heard and seen it all. It is dangerous to build up their expectations to the point of disappointment. We share that any seminar is a "buffet of knowledge." Each of us chooses what we particularly need at the moment from all the ideas offered. We introduce ourselves again a few minutes into our program with a couple sentences about our backgrounds and illustrate some of our messages with personal experiences. Such as Sara was a very shy child - she uses this to introduce how the mind works. This segment helps us understand why we feel the way we feel about certain things.

A Different Kind of Evaluation Form:

In the thousand or so training classes I held over the years, I would end each class with "What did you learn today that you can use?" Everyone had an opportunity to share. The others would say or think, "Oh, yeah, that WAS a good idea!" Everyone went away with a great deal more information than they thought they had.

Obviously in a seminar with 20 to 300 attendees, it is not possible to do that, so we word our evaluation from to encourage the participants to list what they learn and what they are going to do with the information. This encourages a positive response since POSITIVE SELF-TALK AND ACTION ARE THE FOUNDATION OF OUR PROGRAMS.

We have a space for "other comments and feelings" for those who like to critique a presentation. At the top, we have our company name and mailing addresses in case they would like to be on our mailing list so we can let them know when we're doing public seminars in their area. At the bottom, we ask for referrals and ask if we may use their name.

Occasionally, we get as many as 75% of evaluations; usually it's about 25 to 305 - some simply cannot "evaluate." many are in a hurry to leave. We always end our program at least 5 minute early - as a "gift" to the audience. They appreciate it!

Because our seminar content (how to use affirmations to affect permanent, chosen changes) gets better results when a foundation of responsibility and personal empowerment is laid, we encourage the meeting planner to use us for at least 2 hours. This is even better.

At a recent seminar for a client, the meeting planner wanted a one and 1/2 hours in the morning repeated in the afternoon. I believe meeting planners don't know how hard that is on a speaker. I have "lived" with my material for 15 years and ad lib for a particular audience - I don't remember what I say so I can't repeat exactly for a second or third shift. The participants compare notes and think they missed something! We would have received a fee for the whole day, but I told her we could give her people so much more if we had them all at one time for 3 hours. We cut our fee in half because she took my advice and we had the whole first morning. Rita Davenport was the keynote the night before. She asked me, "How in the world did you get to do 3 hours?" The evaluations were what we expected - 75% of those in attendance - the same as we usually get - we made a difference!

E-mail: Tel: 863-763-0867. Fax 863-467-5359.

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