Remember the last time you were frustrated to do something repetitive at work? I do. Nothing drains energy like a boring, repetitive task.
Too much productive time is lost in doing things that can either be delegated, automated or deleted.
I am a big proponent of automation.
What is automation?
Automation is the process of letting a system do a task or set of recurring tasks with little to no involvement. Usually, you define and set up automation one time and it runs at pre-defined times.
How does it help?
Once you set up a process to run on automation, the tasks happen on their own. This frees up time for you to focus on activities that produce maximum impact for your business.
One should spend more time doing things that produce more income, instead of being busy with tasks that could have been given to a robot.
You cannot expect to compete with the same old methods.
How do I get started?
You do not need to be a technical person to get started. There are many tools available in the market that can provide you ready-made automations. The market leader is Zapier, of course. It is one of the oldest and has built integrations with thousands of software available in the market.
There are some new entrants such as Pabbly Connect that are more pocket friendly.
But not everything can be found in these ready-made tools. Sometimes, you need to get custom tools built to automate your business.
Which of the following products has a better chance at success?
Product A with no recognition.
Product B with some recognition.
Product C with great recognition.
Logically, you would choose Product C.
What if I change this equation slightly and tell you that Product A has superior quality compared to Products B and C?
Does this change your answer? Do you now think Product A has better chances at making more sales than Product C?
Human beings make a lot of decisions every day. Not all of them hold equal importance. In fact, most decisions are made unconsciously. We don’t have time and energy to give each decision equal amount of brain power. The human brain likes to take shortcuts when it can. Our brains have evolved that way.
This means, no matter how cool your product is, unless my brain has registered your product and your product is among the first my brain recalls, chances are I will never purchase your product.
Unless Product A runs great campaigns to educate their market why they are better, they have lesser chances at success.
So it is that dreaded time in your BNI membership – it is your turn to do the feature presentation.
You have been visited by the Ghost of your Presentations Past and the fear has completely enveloped you. Or maybe you are cool as a cucumber and you are just here casually reading this (you liar!)
Let me tell you that it doesn’t have to be an 8-10 minute slot from hell. With a little preparation, you can have an extremely successful feature presentation. You can turn this into a very profitable opportunity.
Before we get into how to do an effective BNI presentation, you need to understand why you are doing it.
The goal is simple : generate referrals.
You have to educate your BNI chapter members how they can spot referrals for you. This is the only reason you do a presentation in BNI.
Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world where everyone has all the time in the work and is waiting for your pearls of eternal wisdom.
You need to remember the following constraints :
Your time is limited. Do not try to cram as much as you can into this short time period.
Remember the goal : More Referrals, not most words. You are not here to win a speech competition.
Human attention is a very rare and valuable resource today. So how do you capture human attention ? Stories. They are easy to remember and connect with.
People remember stories not facts.
DEVELOP YOUR CONTENT
Pick ONE vertical or product or service (preferably one that is easy to refer and that generates more profit for you). We want to use the time and attention of our audience on a focused topic.
Explain what this product or service is in as less words as you can. Don’t get too technical and show off your knowledge. Your goal is not to put maximum number of people to sleep.
Now the most important part – stories. Write down two to three stories with Client/Company name, showing how your product/service solved a problem. Talk about the benefit your product/service caused. Don’t get into a lot of detail and especially don’t get too technical (or too emotional – this is not your drama society)
List down at least 4-6 specific asks. If you need help identifying specific asks – use Google, LinkedIn, Facebook or ask your uncle who knows everything about everything 😉
Use the above to write the content for your Feature Presentation. Yes, on paper. It is easier to do the next part if you have it on paper.
Once you put it all down, read it aloud. Slowly and clearly.
Time yourself. You have to finish the presentation within the given time. Otherwise, it looks very unprofessional and it shows you did not prepare.
If you are overshooting, be ready to strike out parts of your presentation.
If you are finishing the presentation and still have time left, see if you can add some meat to your stories.
Practice. Followed by more practice and then a little more.