Category Archives: Patricia Fripp

8 Tips to Make Your Sales Message Memorable

By Patricia Fripp

Patricia FrippSome salespeople are silly enough to think that if they talk longer, they add more value or get their point across more effectively. Actually, any prospect or potential buyer you ask is eager for your pitch to be presented as efficiently and memorably as possible.

Here are eight tips to make your message memorable.

1. Build Rapport: In order to build rapport with your prospect, you need to connect emotionally and intellectually. Think of it this way: Logic makes you think; emotion makes you act. You connect intellectually with your logical argument through specifics and statistics, perhaps with charts and diagrams. You connect emotionally through eye contact, stories, content that creates a visual in the buyer’s mind, and with you-focused rather than I-focused language. This is incredibly important if you want to sell your ideas, a product, or a service.

2. Make Your Message Sound Valuable: How valuable does your message sound? Here’s another way to look at it. Rehearse your sales presentation, and time it. Or, if it is very important, consider transcribing it. Just for fun, consider the financial impact of your proposal or the investment of your prospect, and divide by the length of your presentation. This gives you a dollar value for your words. Logic makes you think; emotion makes you act. Click To Tweet

3. Remove Fluff and Fillers: Naturally you want to remove all the unnecessary fluff and fillers. For example, avoid clichés like “Each and every one of you in the room.” How often have you heard a salesperson say those nine unnecessary words? When your message is clear and concise, divide the number of words by the amount of time needed to deliver your presentation. You will notice how much more valuable each word has become. Make every word count!

Here is a real-life example: Barbara was a sales manager at a convention hotel in a major metropolitan city. A professional association was debating whether to bring their convention to the city. Barbara was a great salesperson one-on-one, but she was facing a group sales presentation. “I’m very nervous,” she confessed to herself, “How do I sell to so many people?”

Thinking through the eight tips she’d read, her internal conversation went something like this:

4. “How Much Time Do You Have?” “Eight minutes.”

5. “Who Is In Your Audience?” “A convention committee from the association. About ten people.”

6. “What Is Your Key Idea?” “What are you actually selling?”

“Well,” realized Barbara, “It isn’t my hotel, because if they come to this city they’ll definitely use our hotel. I guess I’m selling the city, because they are seriously considering a nearby town, too.”

Then she asked herself a question that rarely is asked: “How much is it worth to my hotel if I get their business?”

“Half a million dollars,” she knew.

So, she grabbed her calculator. “Let’s see. Half a million dollars divided by eight minutes. That’s $1,041.66 a second, even when you pause.”

Thinking back on her old opening, Barbara took a deep breath and began, “Well, ladies and gentlemen, I hope you’re enjoying our hospitality.

I know . . . ,” and she was off on a stream of platitudes.

7. Don’t Be Polite; Get to the Point: “That’s polite,” she thought when she finished, “and that’s not a bad habit, but I don’t have much time. They know who I am because I’ve been entertaining them. They know where they are. Make it about them.”

So, Barbara revamped her opening to this: “Welcome, and thank you for the opportunity to host you. In the next eight minutes, you are going to discover why the best decision you can make for your members and your association is to bring your convention to this city and this hotel.”

That is you or yours seven times and one hotel.

Then she said, “The other city is a magnificent destination, and you should definitely go there in the future. However, this year you should come to this city because . . . “Then she listed the specific reasons.

This is an emotional opening because it’s youfocused. And since you never knock your competition, it’s smart to acknowledge that the other city is fabulous. You’ve connected emotionally with your audience, and the logical specifics connect you intellectually.

You may argue that those polite opening comments are necessary because the audience is still settling down and not focused on you. This may be true, but don’t let it be an excuse. Go to the front of the room, and wait until you have their attention, maintaining a strong, cheerful gaze and willing them to be silent. If needed, state the opening phrase of your comments, and then pause until all eyes are focused on you, awaiting the rest of the sentence.

8. Logic Cells, but Close on Emotion: Continue your presentation with logical incentives, but end with emotion. Remember that last words linger, and your goal is to be memorable.

Barbara closed with this, “Imagine years from now when your attendees are sitting around a convention lobby reminiscing about the best conventions they’ve ever attended, and they talk about their experiences in this city at this hotel. And you’ll know you were part of that experience because you were on the planning committee.”

You now have eight tips that add value to your words and make your message memorable. Use Barbara’s model of how to connect emotionally in the beginning and end of a presentation and connect intellectually in between. Plus, you will be making your words sound more valuable.

Good luck! Persuasive presentations give you a competitive edge.

When your sales must be successful Patricia Fripp can help. She is a Hall of Fame keynote speaker, executive speech coach, sales presentation skills, and on-line training expert. Patricia is also a subject matter expert for Continuing Education at XTRACredits. For more information

ROCK Star Communication

How to inspire action and commitment

By Patricia Fripp

Patricia FrippIn an era of tough competition, presentations that persuade, educate, motivate, and inspire give you a competitive edge. Good presentation skills are no longer simply nice to have; they can mean career life or death.

Imagine yourself in the front row of a ballroom at a convention. Sitting with you are sales professionals from all over the world. This was a software company’s challenging January sales meeting. That company had recently bought a competitor, and 40 percent of the sales professionals had nothing to do with the decision.

The opening speaker, the company’s president, was challenged with getting everyone to know that they are working for the right company at the right time, that the company’s strategy is sound, and that working for them will prove beneficial toward their career. He is an engineer, a brilliant leader, and rather shy. He is not a bad speaker; for this meeting, however, he knows he needs to become the corporate rock star.

Here are the rock star principles that our shy engineer used and that you can also use to become a rock star communicator in the business world.An audience will forgive you for anything except being boring. Click To Tweet

R = Rehearse: Great performers and rock stars value rehearsal. When your message is internalized, you know your structure, could wake up in the middle of the night and deliver your opening and closing, and have informally told your stories, get serious about rehearsal and delivery.

When you walk on stage, stand still at front center while you deliver your opening remarks. When you move, do not wander aimlessly; it makes you look nervous! Before an important presentation, schedule daily rehearsal. Rehearse in your own environment. Then rehearse on the stage where you will be speaking.

You need to know how many steps it takes to get to the center of the stage. Work with the production company and the audiovisual technicians. Their job is to make you look good. They can’t do their job as effectively if you do not take your sound checks and rehearsals seriously. If possible, do this the day before.

O = Opening: The first 30 to 60 seconds of your speech set the tone. They help build anticipation. “Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. What a pleasure to be here.” Sounds polite, but it is predictable, boring, and will not inspire action or commitment. It is not Rock Star quality. Rock Star performers will tell you, “We open with our second best song and close with our best.” These performers may have conversation with the audience to thank them for attending or for years of support but not at the opening!

You may be thinking, “I have 45 minutes for my speech. That’s plenty of time to warm up and connect.” Wrong. Your audience is full of stimulation junkies with short attention spans. Come out punching, and grab the audience’s attention. Make them think, “Wow! This is going to be good!”

An audience will forgive you for anything except being boring. Predictability is boring. Start with a story, dramatic statement, question, or an inspiring thought. The software president walked out and said, “Welcome to a brand new company!” He then described what had happened that made this the best move ever.

C = Core Message: Each rock tour has a theme. Know your central theme and core message. Your opening remarks must logically transition into the main message. The body will prove your central idea. After his opening line, the executive answered the audience’s unspoken questions: why was the decision made, what would it mean to them, and why was he the best leader?

The person behind the position is the person they would fight for, work long hours for, and whose corporate strategy gives them confidence. We respect the position; we emotionally connect to the person. It is not only what you say that communicates your message. It is also the subtext, what you aren’t saying outright.

Rock Star communicators also realize that in order to inspire action, you need to appeal to the audience’s rational self-interest. People make decisions for their reasons, not yours. They need to understand what is in it for them.

K = Kick-A$$ Closing: Remember, rock stars always close on their best song. Review your key ideas, and you have many options to close on a high.

Close your presentation with the same words, thought, or vision from your opening. Remember, your last words linger. Leave them with a reinforcement of a key idea or an inspirational thought from your presentation. Consider the technique that the software president used.

If you are going to be a rock star presenter who inspires action and commitment, do not compete with yourself! Your audience can’t listen and read. A boring PowerPoint with too many words or too much information can sabotage a great presentation. Did your audience come to read or to hear you?

Good luck with your journey to inspire action and commitment as a rock star communicator. Even though you were not sitting in the front row of a ballroom at a convention, you now have powerhouse suggestions for becoming a Rock Star communicator yourself.

Patricia Fripp is an executive speech coach, sales presentation skills, on-line training expert, and subject matter expert for Continuing Education at XTRACredits. Her brother, Robert Fripp, is a Rock Star and legendary guitarist with King Crimson. When your message must be memorable in-person or online Patricia Fripp can help. To become a great speaker easily, conveniently and quickly sign up for a trail at

5 Tips When You Have 5 Minutes With a Prospect

By Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

Patricia FrippIf you are on the phone, a webinar, or in person, and you have a few minutes with the executive, what do you say to keep on track and be professional? Here is an invaluable framework. Adapt it to your situation, and boost your confidence and credibility.

Imagine that you have a satisfied client company for one of your offerings. You feel now is the best time to discuss your next and higher investment offering. The team, your main contact, is ready to view a product demonstration set for the next day. All your demos are delivered in a webinar. At 2 p.m. you get a call from your main contact who says “Great news! Tomorrow our boss, who is the real decision-maker, is going to be in our office. Rather than just showing our team what you have to offer, the boss said he would like to sit in on the first five minutes. I know you will do well.”

Don’t panic. This is a great opportunity, and once you make a positive impact, the sales cycle is going to be cut short. You will not have to hear, “We love this, but now we have to convince our boss.” This is, however, now your number one priority to prepare. You may be seasoned, but take this seriously. Your sales manager is always telling you, “Sell to the C Suite.” This is your chance. Remember these five simple suggestions for sales success.

1) Build rapport before you speak. It is easier to connect if you can make eye contact with the client, so turn on your webcam to welcome everyone and then again when you answer questions. Although many professionals say they are not comfortable doing this, it has many benefits. Who can resist your friendly smile? You will look more confident, and it is tougher to say no when they are looking at you.

2) Be prepared, and get to the point. Remember, with an executive you need to be clear, concise, credible, and able to articulate the bottom line of your message. The higher up the corporate ladder you go, the more quickly you need to get to the point and demonstrate value. As counterintuitive as it may seem, the less time you have in which to present your case, the longer you will need to prepare. You may have friendly chatter with the team before you get to business, but in this case every second counts. Be polite, respectful, and get to the point fast.

3) Remember you are not alone. Speak on behalf of your leadership. This way you can feel you are making a connection with the position, even when you are not holding that position yourself. You will discover that this technique adds to your confidence.

4) Remind the executive they have already made a wise decision by doing business with your company. Remind them that they have already researched your company and that they were comfortable enough to make you a vendor of choice. This is just a logical next step.

5) Make heroes of the team you are working with. These are your internal champions, and although they may not make the ultimate decision, they certainly have influence and can sabotage your sale. Your job is to work closely with the team or champion who will give you information. Do your research so that you are on target with your questions about their company and the approach the executive will most likely respond to.

When you have to deliver an executive overview, be clear and concise and sound credible. When you adapt this framework to your situation, you will get results. For example:

“Good morning, Mr. Smith. On behalf of our leadership and my team, thank you for your business. As you know, we are committed to delivering the best service for our valued clients like you.

On a personal note, working with John and Mary is a delight. They are both helpful and incredibly efficient.

The purpose of this call is to deliver a high-level overview of our product that you have invested in, review your results compared to your expectations, and then introduce you to three other ways in which we can be of service.

Once we have proven the power of (our product), most of our clients find it logical to add ________ and ______ to their package.

John suggested you are most interest in seeing . . .

Mary mentioned you have ambitious goals for next year to . . .

That is an area in which we could be very advantageous to you.

My understanding is that we have four more minutes. Is that correct?

Let me roll up my sleeves, and you just sit back, watch the demo, and be amazed.

Please feel free to interject at any time.

Do you like what you saw?

Then our next logical step is to continue the conversation with John and Mary and prepare a draft proposal for your review.

 Does that make sense to you?

Moving forward, is there any other area you would like for us to pursue?

Again, thank you for your business and the opportunity to demonstrate how we can continue to streamline your company.”

Can you see the five suggestions in this simple outline?

Turn on the webcam when you open and close the conversation. This makes it easier to make an emotional connection.

Because you are on a webinar, you can have your opening script and outline printed.

Once you internalize your new, tightened script, it will become second nature.

Make sure you smile. Your client will hear it in your voice.

Companies who want a competitive edge hire Patricia Fripp. She is a Hall of Fame keynote speaker, executive speech coach, sales presentation skills, and on-line training expert. Patricia is also a subject matter expert for Continuing Education at XTRACredits. When your message must be memorable, your presentation powerful, and your sales successful in-person or online Patricia Fripp can help. To become a great speaker easily, conveniently and quickly you sign up for FrippVT. Why not sign up for your trial today:

10 Biggest Mistakes Sales Professionals Make in Their Presentations

By Patricia Fripp, CSP, CPAE

Patricia FrippLike Hollywood actors, sales professionals put themselves and their companies on the line with every word—taking a risk in the hope of a favorable outcome. Just like actors, even the best, most experienced salesperson benefits from script review, rehearsal, and coaching.

Here are the 10 most common mistakes seen on the sales stage and ways to avoid them:

  1. Unclear Thinking: Imagine that a busy executive says, “You have exactly ten minutes to tell me I need to know about your company.” You should know in advance what your prospect is really asking. The real question is, “What do I need to know about how your company can improve our company? Will your products or services solve a problem, create new opportunities, increase savings, maximize earnings, simplify our processes, develop our human capital, or increase market share?” Accomplish this, and you can present your options more formally.
  1. Talking Too Much: The key to connecting with a client is conversation and asking questions. The quality of information received depends on the quality of your questions and waiting for and listening to the answers! A successful encounter early in the sales process should be mostly open-ended questions—the kind that require essay answers rather than just yes and no. And never rush on with preprogrammed questions that ignore the answer you’ve just received!
  1. Wrong Structure: Do not build your talking points and presentation structure around your company. Structure them around your prospect’s interests, challenges, or opportunities. Put their words into your presentation. Yes, you will be talking about your company, your satisfied clients, and your uniqueness to prove that you can appeal to their interests, solve their challenges, and maximize their opportunities.
  1. No Memorable Stories: People rarely remember your exact words. They remember the mental images your words create. Support your key points with vivid, relevant client success stories. Create a movie in their minds by using satisfied clients as memorable characters. What was their starting situation? Their problem that your prospect can relate to? What are their results since you worked with them?
  1. No Emotional Connection: Your customer or client justifies working with you for analytical reasons. What gives you the edge—what I call the unfair advantage—is an emotional connection. Build an emotional connection by incorporating stories with characters they can relate to, by using the word you as often as possible, and by talking from their point of view. Congratulate them on their success. Thank them, not for their time, but for the opportunity to present your solution. Don’t say, “I will talk about . . .” Say, “What you will hear is . . .” Remember, their unspoken question is, “What’s in this for us?”
  1. No Pauses: Good music and good communication both contain changes of pace and pauses. As counterintuitive as it may seem, you actually connect in the silence. This is when your audience digests what they have heard. If you rush to squeeze in as much information as possible, your prospects will remember less. Remember the rule: “Say less, say it well.” Give your clients enough time to ask a question or reflect.
  1. Hmm, Ah, Err, You Know, So, Right: Non-words and low quality words often fill spaces where silence is needed. How often have you heard a presenter begin each new thought with “Now!” or “Um” or “So” as they figure out what comes next. Rehearse in front of your sales manager or colleagues, asking them to call out whenever you hem or haw. Audio-record yourself, and note any digressions. You will never improve what you are not aware of.
  1. Weak Opening: Engage your audience with a powerful, relevant opening that includes them. For example, “You have an awesome responsibility,” or “Congratulations on your company’s recent success.” Then focus on their needs: increasing sales, reducing errors, cutting overhead, expanding their market, increasing their digital footprint, or perfecting their sales presentations. How can your product help?
  1. Weak Closing: After reviewing your key ideas, answering their questions, making suggestions for the next logical step, and thanking them for the opportunity, make your last words linger. Conclude with a strong, positive sentence that will be embedded in their minds. Do not introduce a new idea. Reinforce one of your main advantages or benefits; e.g., “Remember, 157 profitable quarters,” or “99% of the Fortune 100 do business with us,” or “We are large enough to satisfy all your requirements and small enough that you will be a valued client.”
  1. Lack of Specificity: Specificity builds credibility and helps position you above your competition. Tons and bunches? Can you really get a ton of ideas? Do you leave the trade show with bunches of business cards? Don’t say, “With our program, you will really grow your business.” Instead, “There are no guarantees; however, our last three clients increased sales an average of 32% in seven months.”

Avoid these, and you’re on your way to being a sales star, delivering a dazzling performance every time.

When your message must be memorable and your sale successful, sales expert Patricia Fripp can help in person and also with online training:,, 415- 753-6556.

Get the Most Out of Your Speaker Investment

6 Ideas to Make Your Meetings Memorable

By Patricia Fripp

Patricia FrippIn a perfect world, you would have an unlimited budget to hire top keynote speakers for all your meetings and conventions. Since it’s not, here are some proven suggestions that have been successfully incorporated by many companies and associations. Adopt them into your meeting planning process, and become a hero for getting the most for your meeting dollar.

One seasoned association Executive Director had six days of speaking and seminar slots to fill. As part of their overall convention, instead of assigning each slot to a different speaker, she suggested to the conference committee that they maximize the contribution of a few top presenters, hiring three of them to fill three different roles. That’s how they made 1 + 1 + 1 = 9. Three speakers used three ways equals nine slots filled.

Here’s how such a move can save your organization time and money and let you trade up to professional speakers you might have thought you couldn’t afford.

Save on Hotels and Airfare: Cutting the number of speakers will most likely reduce the total nights of lodging needed. You will definitely save on transportation — for instance, three round-trips versus nine.

Speakers May Reduce Fee: Many speakers will conduct multiple presentations for the same fee and discount several days in the same location. Perhaps your prior speakers might have been more flexible if you had only thought to ask, “After your keynote, could you conduct a breakout session?” ”While you are here could you emcee one morning?” “Could you moderate a panel?” Even, “Our chairman is a bit nervous. Could you coach him on the opening of his keynote speech?”

Speakers and trainers who travel across country will frequently charge considerably less for three consecutive days at one hotel, rather than three separate dates months apart.

The Answer Is No If You Don’t Ask: One Realtors Association asked, “After your luncheon speech, could you deliver a breakout seminar on your topic and go deeper?” That thrilled their speaker who wanted to prove to them that he had more to offer than the 45 minutes of ideas presented in his keynote speech.

One seasoned professional speaker always makes a habit of suggesting a breakout following her keynote. One of her clients said, “Well, the agenda is already slotted in. However, we’d love it if you would emcee our Top Producers’ panel, the first breakout session after lunch.”

It’s Easier to Get Sponsors: Trading up to a more seasoned or bigger-name speaker makes it easier for you to get sponsors. If you have ever said, “We can’t afford your fee,” instead ask, “If we can find a sponsor to help pay for your presentation, would you be willing to have a book signing in their booth?”

Who would sponsor your event? Consider approaching the exhibitors at your conventions or whoever sells to your members or whoever wants good PR with the people in the audience. List these “angels” prominently in the program and meeting audiovisual presentations.

At many conventions the sponsor has the opportunity to introduce the speaker and handle the Q and A. Ahead of time introduce your speakers to their sponsors, and encourage them to incorporate a couple of lines into their presentation that tie into their sponsor.

For example, one keynote speaker, in her keynote speech to an 800-person audience at a national convention, thrilled the association, audience, and sponsor. After her opening story, she quoted the founder of her corporate sponsor, gave examples to reinforce herpoints from their newsletters, and incorporated their name in her walk-away line.

When your speakers are wise enough to feature their sponsors in their presentations, you will not have a problem getting sponsorship for future conferences.

Three Invaluable Bonuses

  1. Having speakers on hand throughout your event gives you far greater flexibility in scheduling.
  2. In case of a last minute speaker cancellation or no show, they can substitute.
  3. Continuity can establish a powerful connection between audience and speakers.

With six days of speaking and seminar slots to fill, our seasoned association Executive Director said, “We found that when we triple-book speakers, they become even more popular, really getting to know our association members who always enjoy their staying around longer. Our members feel they know them as friends when they can talk to them in the trade show and after-hour events as the speakers are with us for several days.”

Continuity, during an event or from year to year, means your speakers are able to notice and volunteer to help your organization in special ways you may not have considered.

More Bang for Your Buck: Many successful meeting planners are able to negotiate with their speakers for extras. Wise speakers figure that as long as they are there anyway and are being paid well, their time belongs to the client. Therefore, they are happy to take on extra tasks.

The next time you are planning a conference, consider the multiple ways to incorporate your speakers’ talents. In addition to what you are engaging them to do, it doesn’t hurt to ask if the speaker would be willing to do one of these:

  • Deliver one or two breakout sessions
  • Add a partner/guest program
  • Introduce other speakers
  • Emcee part of the event
  • Moderate a panel
  • Sign autographs
  • Coach company or association leaders on their presentations
  • Appear in the sponsor’s booth to make their sponsorship more of an investment

Next Time You Book a Speaker: If your speaker does not ask how else he can serve you, perhaps you should consider continuing the search.

Patricia Fripp is a Hall of Fame keynote speaker, executive speech coach, and sales presentation skills trainer. Meetings and Conventions magazine named Patricia “One of the most electrifying speakers in North America.” Patricia is virtually everywhere with her online learning FrippVT. Many of the courses earn Continuing Education Credits earned through XtraCredits.