Another great video from Tom Peters

Everybody is a sales person. How true! I remember when I was in graduate engineering school many years ago and of course I thought I knew everything, I used to look down on sales people. One day I made a derogatory comment about salesmen to my engineering professor who at that time also had a thriving consulting business going. He glared at me and said “Never lose sight of the value of a great salesman”.

Ten years later, when I was working for a small consulting firm, the owner of the company used to send out a note to all his employees that read” “Nothing happens until somebody sells something.”


So next time when you make a presentation, just remember that you are the proverbial sales person SELLING something to the audience.

11 responses to “Another great video from Tom Peters

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Another great video from Tom Peters « Excellence in Presentations --

  2. I was listening to the radio a night or two back… a(n ex-) director of one of the first UK ‘banks’ to go… ironically called Northern Rock said “Products and Services grow the economy not Banking” which means if we are in B & S then selling our benefits internally or externally keeps us doing what we love to do.. or???
    TP inspired me with his PSF50 book in which he said we needed to excel at and sell what we do.. we need to be noticed in the noise of everyday.. I was inspired blog how we had used the book to excel… TP told me later his wife’s favourite book is “the Secret Garden” read and comment on it here:
    Norman Wei’s Wisdom comes in too … see if you can spot it!

  3. Yes, everyone is a salesperson. It’s just that most peopel don’t realize it and end up doing a bad job.

  4. If you don’t know what you are supposed to be.. you can’t set about acquiring the skills needed to be competently!

  5. This hits on an element i often teach, every presentation is a sales presentation. The thing you are selling in every presentation is your credibility as an authority on your subject. Whether you are attempting to make an actual sale or presenting the monthly figures it is your credibility as an expert that will be most remembered.

    • Stephen, thank you for your comment. I agree with you 100% about selling credibility. Unless the audience believes you at some level, your presentation is pointless. Norman

  6. Stephen.. you make the points very understandable… one problem that experts suffer from and I, as a semi-expert, wrestle with is that expertise is not demonstrated by volume but by those nuggets people take away to think about or do something with.

  7. Jim, many experts suffer from trying to present very complicated things to non-technical people. Ver few experts can do that well. Nuggets is also the right term too. Experts have a tendency to want to cover EVERYTHING and tell the audience EVERYTHING they know about the subject. They are often unable to select the few nuggets from their vast loam of knowledge to present tothe audience. So they end up losing the entire audience. By trying to teach them all, they end up teaching nothing.

  8. Norman… good point; one thing I found hard on the nugget mining was to change perspective in a quantity oriented organisation. The breakthrough came when I realised that people knew from my job title that I am likely to be an expert in a particular subject. I no longer have to prove (if I ever did) what I know but what I have to do, when presenting, is answer their (the audience’s) question: “how is his expertise relevant to my situation?” which changes the fundemental presentation format… bullets are not the ammunition of choice but “charm” is.

    • Yes – many presenters forget that when an audience shows up to hear them talk, they are already assuming some expertise on the part of the speaker. So it is not necessary for the speaker to “prove” how brilliant he is. That’s another reason why you don’t give a long introduction about the speaker and recite all the degrees that he has even though he may have more degrees than a rectal thermometer.

  9. agreed … my attitude changed when the big boss said to me ” when you speak others listen.”

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