Learning From the Disastrous Presentation of a Top Network Marketing Company Representative

Obviously, if you are interested in the product and business opportunity, and if you are enough of a self starter to come prepared with questions and comments stemming from research you already did prior to attending the live sales presentation, it matters little if the presenter is skilled or stinks, but it places you in the enviable position of learning from a disastrous presentation of a top network marketing company representative. In many ways you could consider this your first lesson in network marketing and the art of avoiding failure in public venues.

The reasons why some top network marketing company presentations are horridly bungled usually may be found in the person of the presenter rather than in the company provided training. She or he may fail to engage the audiences from the get go. Conversely, the personality of the presenter may be entirely unsuited to public speaking and instead of having prepared to overcome this obstacle, the presenter may have refused to embrace the limitation, instead seeking to shrug it off by either raising the voice and speaking more loudly than necessary, or by regurgitating – albeit from memory – the content of the sales brochure. Both are disastrous and should be avoided at all costs.

If you are not a qualified lead but instead perhaps part of the presenter’s up line, it is your responsibility to take note of the deficiencies you cannot help but see. Generally speaking, learning from a disastrous presentation of a top network marketing company representative does not involve a lack of product knowledge, but instead may be simply a collection of mannerisms that, when put together, are extremely off-putting. Jot down clues, such as body language, an overuse of gestures or conversely noticeable lacks thereof, signs of nervousness, a failure to engage each member of the audience, or the inability to use the material provided in the training brochure and make it her or his own. After all, consumers and potential distributors alike are turned off quickly when faced with someone who is obviously operating from the comfort of a script, even if the piece of paper is not visible or committed to memory. Help the member of your down line to learn from the mistakes made, but do it gently so as not discourage her or him, and by giving very specific suggestions that will spell success at subsequent sales presentations.

Presentation Skills – Traps to Avoid

The art of presenting well is a learned skill, but even if you are a complete beginner, you can get a head start by not falling for these common pitfalls:

1. Never, ever, imagine that you can get away with not preparing and that when you stand up in front of your audience, you will be inspired to speak fluently and intelligently! It just does not happen and there is no quicker way to destroy your credibility and reputation. Remember the old saying – fail to prepare and you prepare to fail!

2. Don’t feel you need to include lots and lots of information – you will lose your audience. Practise the presentation with a carefully-chosen audience (who you can trust to be helpful and objective) and you will be surprised how long it can take to cover a few points when they are involved and contributing.

3. Don’t read from your notes. You may need prompts, but you should be well enough prepared to speak spontaneously about your content.

4. Don’t get too technical in an effort to prove how much of an expert you are. Unless all the audience are at least as well-versed in jargon as you are, you will simply alienate them.

5. Don’t be afraid to use humour. A little lightness softens up your audience and makes them more receptive. On the other hand, attempting jokes which fall flat will work against you. Know your limits.

6. Never give out handouts while you are talking, as people will instinctively start reading them and you will lose their attention. Remember to allow sufficient time afterwards for the distribution of handouts.

These points are intended as a general guide. As you become more practised at giving presentations, you will no doubt begin to learn some rules of your own about what does and does not work for you, and that is when you will become really proficient.

Negotiating Skills and the 10 Powers of Negotiation: Don’t Drink the Punch

The role of humility in the negotiating process…

Can we agree on this? The truly brilliant rarely trumpet their brilliance to the world – and many are quite modest…

And how about this? For those who do trumpet their brilliance to the world, this is often the first sign that they are not…

Not long ago, I was having lunch with the managing partner of a prominent professional firm. Even before we reached the restaurant, he began telling me the reason for his success. “You see,” he said, “I’m simply brilliant at what I do. I’m just that much smarter than my competitors and my clients know this.” This continues throughout lunch. So, why was he telling me this? I didn’t have a clue. Was he trying to persuade me – or himself? And, again, what was I to do with this information? Again, I didn’t have a clue. All that I knew was this: If he thought the revelation of his brilliance would impress me, he was wrong. Actually, the opposite was true…

This made me think of some negotiators I’d encountered over the years who, prior to our upcoming negotiations even beginning, also thought there was some strategic advantage in telling me about their past triumphs at the negotiating table. Again, what I was to do with that information? Was I to pack my bags and go home, rather than face the brilliance of my hero? Hardly. Rather, wasn’t I much more likely to prepare more thoroughly for my encounter with him? And wasn’t I now more likely to bring in reinforcements to face the daunting challenge of having to negotiate with my hero? And, hey, was it my imagination or did this seem just supremely arrogant? You bet…

When I think back on some of the best negotiators I have seen around the world over the years, I am struck by this one quality: their humility. While each may have had distinctive negotiating styles and approaches to the negotiation process, each treated humility as the real deal. Each understood the real dangers that a lack of humility would bring – both for their own teams and in dealing with the other side. This is why they all worked so hard at remaining grounded.This is why they just didn’t drink the punch.

And as for those wannabe brilliant negotiators who stubbornly believe there is some strategic advantage to proclaiming their brilliance – perhaps in the forlorn hope that this will intimidate the other side, my experience tells me they are simply dreaming. They don’t understand how a lack of humility will inevitably undermine their ability to deal with anyone familiar with the 10 Powers of Negotiation. And, by doing so, they don’t understand they will now face the prospect of having to push a very heavy rock up an extremely steep and slippery slope. So, what are these 10 Powers of Negotiation that a lack of humility will undermine?

The 10 Powers of Negotiation:

These are the negotiating powers that Nelson Mandela revealed in his historic negotiations with the South African government. Just as he demonstrated a mastery of them in his negotiation, the very best negotiators I have encountered and worked with have also only mastered them. Like Nelson Mandela, they mastered the remarkable art of keeping their eye on each of these Powers simultaneously:

  • The power of understanding that a negotiation is a process;
  • The power of preparation;
  • The power of positioning;
  • The power of common sense and logic;
  • The power of dignity, congeniality, humility and humor;
  • The power of truth and fairness;
  • The power of observation – of listening and seeing;
  • The power of morality, courage and attitude;
  • The power of patience; and
  • The power to walk away.

In applying these Powers, the best negotiators all relied heavily on the negotiating teams they had assembled. And they always gave their team members the credit for whatever accomplishments resulted from the particular negotiation – which was yet another sign of the humility they all possessed.

Humility is both an endearing quality and is a necessity…

Humility is a not just an endearing quality, it is also a remarkable asset. Why? Because people like doing business with people they like – and people like people with humility. It is therefore an almost indispensable asset going into a negotiation.

It is also a necessity, however. Why? Because a lack of humility poses some profound dangers to a successful negotiation, we have to do everything we can to avoid those dangers. This is why the best negotiators all concentrate on remaining modest and low-key, always preferring to fly below the radar. They all see the clear benefit of being under-estimated. They all see the clear dangers posed by overconfidence, arrogance – and drinking the punch.

The clear dangers…

One obvious problem about drinking the punch is that it is intoxicating. This serves to heighten feelings of perceived brilliance and self-importance, which can be fatal to your negotiation. Why? As the 10 Powers reveal, it is absolutely critical to put yourself in the position of those with whom you are negotiating. To do so, you have to focus intensely on them and not on yourself. By the time you enter the negotiation, you should already know what you can accept and what you cannot. The variable in the equation is always the other side. You therefore have to know them as well as they know themselves.

If you drink the punch you you become like the finely honed human specimen at the local hip fitness center. Go there and watch them admiring themselves in the walls of mirrors that surround them. They rarely take their eyes off themselves – and, if they ever do, it is only to compare themselves to more feeble specimens like you and me. They see the world only through their own eyes. In a negotiating context, this is near fatal. As our intoxicated negotiators view everything through the lens of their own perceived brilliance, they ignore those with whom they are negotiating. Apart from conveying the unfortunate perception that they are too big and too smart for the room, which is frankly obnoxious, they will inevitably miss important signs and signals the other side offers. This is bad news for everyone in the negotiation…

How does this play out? As they focus more on themselves and less on the other side, they inevitably begin to discount and underestimate the other side’s views and positions. Now, instead of truly understanding the other side’s positions and what they need from the process, their perceived superiority distorts the process. This, in turn, undermines every one of the Powers, but particularly the Powers of Preparation and Positioning, in which you have to fashion your approach based upon what the other side needs to make the deal happen.

And, to make matters worse, this lack of humility will also almost inevitably result in our brilliant but intoxicated hero beginning to denigrate the other side. And as does, he will minimize the legitimacy of the other side’s reasons for taking whatever positions they have taken. And this will not only annoy them, it will result in your team losing clear opportunities to address and improve the deal you might really want to reach. Certainly, this will undermine the clear benefits of Powers of Dignity, Congeniality, and Humor that create the indispensable atmosphere you will need to close the deal. And as this sorry tale begins to unfold, the process inevitably becomes way too personal. And as this occurs, the negotiations will probably inevitably be teetering on a slippery slope going in a direction you might not want.

The most serious problem this lack of humility, overconfidence and arrogance creates, however, is that it erodes the potential ability of the parties to work together collaboratively. Because it is so very important to create a sense of trust and comfort with the other side, and because you will always need them to share information with you, conveying a sense of superiority and arrogance will make this sharing almost impossible. After all, who really wants to collaborate with a condescending arrogant twit? Nobody I know…

Why do some negotiators trumpet their self-proclaimed brilliance?

So, why do they do it? Perhaps they are trying to persuade themselves that they are indeed brilliant. Perhaps they believe that, if they repeat their assertions of brilliance often enough, it will magically come true. In the case of attorneys and accountants, perhaps they believe they have to justify their sometimes-outrageous hourly rates. For these particular attorneys and accountants (or anyone else that displays this particular trait), however, if you hire them, you’ll almost certainly get what you deserve…

Finally, over the years, it has been my experience that often the most dangerous people around the negotiating table are the quiet ones – not the noisy ones who are constantly trying to impress. The moral here for me is clear: If you really think you are brilliant, it might be better to be quiet – just in case you are not…