Conversation Skills for Discussion Leaders™
While most briefing programs have a pool of speakers with excellent technical expertise who are able to deliver slide-driven presentations, the most effective speakers also possess the ability to shift between a prepared presentation and interactive dialogue with the customer.
Discussion leaders who demonstrate this conversational flexibility dramatically increase the value of the briefing and move the sales cycle forward.
- Plan customer-centric messages based on expressed customer needs and expectations
- Identify where the customer is positioned in the discussion cycle and how to proceed accordingly
- Listen carefully to customer comments during the briefing and accurately summarize what was heard
- Respond in ways that build rapport and demonstrate understanding
- Move away from prepared slides in response to cues and questions from the customer
- Ask thought-provoking questions to validate and discover customer perspectives and needs
- Use the whiteboard to illustrate ideas
- Encourage two-way conversation during the briefing
- Link to comments made by customer to maintain relevant discussion
- Manage group discussion
- Handle difficult questions and objections in a way that moves the conversation forward
- Demonstrate confidence through exceptional delivery skills
- Conversation Planner: A tool to help you gather info about your listeners and what's important to them.
- Mandel BLUEPRINT®: A framework to help you structure your opening, main points, and closing.
- ARM™ (Align, Respond, Maintain): A model for handling tough questions and objections.
- Composure and Energy™: A summary of the key skills needed to demonstrate executive presence.
- Thought-Provoking Questions: A job aid with questions that explore perspectives, possibilities, and feelings to guide conversations to a deeper level.
- The High-Stakes Conversation Cycle™: A model for conducting conversations that balance understanding the other person's need with what you need from them.
- Mindset Continuum: A tool to help you assess the degree to which listeners see you as a trusted advisor.
- Based on learn-by-doing activities that produce skills that stick.
- Designed to bridge the gap between knowing what to do and how to do it
- Linked to your organization’s current business issues, initiatives, and goals
- Focused on real world performance improvement and on-the-job application
- Enlivened by built-in practice sessions
- Supported by expert, individualized, in-the-moment coaching
- Enriched by immediate videotaped feedback