“A real decision is demonstrated by the fact you’ve taken a new action. If you haven’t taken action, you haven’t truly made a decision.” – Tony Robbins
Do you know how most people wrap up a meeting or talk?
“That’s it for today.” “Thank you for listening.” “We’re out of time. We need to wrap it up. Let me know if you have questions.”
Talk about leaving results on the table!
From now on, instead of trailing off with a passive close that doesn’t inspire follow-up,plant specific action seeds such as:
“What is one thing you’ll do differently when you get back to the office tomorrow?”
“What exactly are you going to say if potential clients object to our fee?”
“When you get home tonight, where will you post your reminder card?”
“Who is going to take responsibility for this and update us by noon tomorrow?”
“What tangible results will you report back at our Monday morning meeting?”
“At our next break, at 2:30 . . .”
In fact, those four words “At our next break …” helped an entrepreneur named Marcia motivate a room full of investors to follow-up with her. Marcia was scheduled to give a funding pitch for her startup in the afternoon following lunch. She was worried audience members would be half asleep, so we crafted a sixty second close to make sure people were crystal clear how they could follow up with her. Here’s what she said:
“I’m Marcia, the one with the white, spiky hair … .
At our next break at 2:30, I’ll be at our table in the right-hand corner of the lobby.
If you’d like a product demonstration, a copy of our financial projections, or would like to meet our CTO to discuss our patented software; you’re welcome to come by.
“Once again, I’m Marcia with the white, spiky hair. I look forward to seeing you at 2:30.”
Guess who was surrounded by people at the next break? You’re right, Marcia. Why? She was the only one who took responsibility for being actionable and memorable.
Here’s what she did and how you can do the same:
Think about it. After a long day, how many speakers’ names can you recall? And if we don’t know someone’s name, we’re not likely to approach them. And be sure to say your name with a pause and a punch instead of a rush and blush. If you say your name quickly, “JoseAficianando,” people will miss it. Say your first name, “Jose” and then pause for a beat and enunciate each syllable of your least name “A – fi -cia – nan – do” so people can repeat it after hearing it once.
This is not trivial. How will people be able to pick you out in a sea of suits unless you give them a colorful clue such as, “I’m Bob, the one in the green jacket” or “I’m Patricia, in the red suit.”
Don’t be vague with a or”If you have any questions, please let me know.” Say, “I’ll be by the front desk from 3-4 pm.” Or “You’re welcome to call me on Monday between ten and noon.” Or “I’ll be back in Texas September 3rd and would be glad to schedule an in-person appointment.”
If you want people to follow up, give them three reasons why that will be worth their while. What could you offer that would add value for them and motivate them to want to get back in touch with you?
By the way, do you notice a pattern in these suggestions? They offer people OPTIONS instead of giving them ORDERS.
Do you know anyone who likes to be ordered around? Telling people, “Contact my office if you want more information” elicits a “You’re not the boss of me” reaction.
Offering a variety of strategic choicesgives people the freedom and autonomy to select a course of action that’s most appealing and relevant to them. They are a lot more likely to initiate action – because they want to, not because they’re being told to.
And yes, this works for Zoom class and virtual meetings too.
You can say, “I’ll be in breakout room #9 answering questions if you’d like to go deeper into some aspect of of my program.” Or, “You’re welcome to put your email in chat and the organizer will copy them to me if you would like a copy of this slide deck.” Or, “If you’re thinking, ‘I wish my boss or coworkers had heard this,’ they can. We’ve scheduled a ‘encore’ session for next Monday, and you can register for it here ….”
Pilot Chuck Yeager said, “At the moment of truth, there are either reasons or results.”
If you want results at the end of your next talk or meeting, use need to plant actions seeds.
You don’t want your message to be out-of-sight, out-of-mind. You want it to stay top-of-mind. Another way to do that is to end your presentation with a WHAT NEXT? slide.
Place a banner headline on your next-to-last-slide in your deck that says “NOW WHAT? and offer three options that are so appealing and value-added, people voluntarily choose to act on one of them so you continue the connection.
if you don’t plant action seeds, nothing will blossom.
From now on, take responsibility for staying top-of-mind by giving people reasons and specific ways to stay in touch so you can produce mutually-rewarding results.
Want more ways to intrigue and succeed? Meet Sam on April 6th at the Count Me In Revival Book Club & Meet the Author series. Check out Sam’s HOW TO POP Master Class.