Almost every TED talk is less than 18 minutes. Over 30 years of experience for TED have culminated in a lightning quick and highly memorable format.
18 minutes offers a fine balance between how much information an audience can absorb and actually solving a pain point. Whilst your meeting will be longer than that, you have a small window to do the following:
- Understand the impact of each attendee on the sale and their opinion
- Inform and influence the 7 or so decision makers needed to complete a deal
- Understand the requirements of the client and their key motivations
- Develop trust and rapport
- Position your offering in respect of the competition
- Explain pricing, delivery, support and ongoing costs
- Demonstrate your offering and its features
Doing all the above, whilst being memorable, understandable and demonstrating that you can solve a painful problem is nearly impossible in an hour, let alone in less than 20mins.
Your sales meetings will be more effective if before the meeting begins, you have established yourself and your firm as expert advisors. Short, tailored content insights, specific to the challenges of the firm you are meeting goes a long way to demonstrate your firm's expertise.
Likewise, if there are less important positioning statements or elements of your offering that need to be delivered - make the most of your time by mentioning them and following up in more detail.
Sending specific, tailored content is a good way of doing this and its the equivalent of having another meeting where you've brought your own expert along to answer questions. Timely, considered content is much better than a rushed explanation.
By keeping meetings short, focusing on understanding the customer and following up with expert content, salespeople come across as better prepared, more professional whilst building trust and confidence in your wider firm.
Your brain is an energy hog. It takes an enormous amount of energy to listen intently for a long period of time. One secret to keeping your audience glued to your pitch or presentation is to keep your presentation short. But how short? TED Talks have found the answer--18 minutes. It doesn't matter who you are, how much you're worth or how famous you are. From Sheryl Sandberg to Pope Francis, anyone who speaks at the annual TED conference must follow the 18-minute rule. No presentation may run longer. No exceptions. The TED conference has over 30 years of experience with presentations, so it should know what works and what doesn't.