by Mary Jane Mapes, CSP
When you’re in a meeting, are you concerned that you won’t come across clearly and succinctly? Afraid you’ll ramble?
If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, concern yourself no longer.
To connect, engage, and leave people wanting to hear more from you, I recommend the PREP Formula, an easy format that will help you organize your thoughts quickly and succinctly, and convince others of your ideas. And the best part? You will become even more influential. Sound good? Great!
PREP is an acronym with each letter standing for what’s needed.
P: The POINT you wish to make.
People buy for their reasons, not yours. Therefore, it’s important to actively listen to what others tell you.
R: The REASON you have for saying what you just said.
When you actively listen to people, they feel safe in your presence. When they feel safe with you, they’re more apt to trust you. When they trust you, they’re more inclined to share with you at a deeper level. And it’s in their sharing that you discover their real reasons to buy the idea you’re selling.
E: An EXAMPLE that supports what you’ve just said.
I often check for people on LinkedIn who may be able to provide a needed service. We connect and set up a time to meet. Unfortunately, many times people start selling before they ever take time to learn what I truly need. It’s not uncommon to be interrupted in mid-sentence with a solution to a problem that was never uncovered. It doesn’t take me long to discover whether or not I wish to do business with them.
On the other hand, when I met Jules White, a sales expert, I was completely taken by her approach. Her entire focus was on me and my business, my challenges, and the impact of those challenges. She clearly wanted to understand my frustrations and my goals, so she listened deeply. By the time we ended the conversation, I felt totally convinced that she was the person with whom I wanted to do business. And the best part? Jules turned out to be everything I had hoped for in a sales coach. I’d recommend her to anyone.
P: A reiteration of your original POINT.
People buy for their reasons, not yours. When you actively listen to what people have to say, you discover their motivation for doing what you want them to do because
they see the value to them in doing it.
Listening up front, with both the head and the heart, is fundamental to selling anything—even your ideas.
If you want to be an Administrative Professional who can connect, engage, and leave people wanting to hear more from you, PREP ahead. Listen deeply first, and then organize to be clear and succinct.
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