Whether you are a speaker selling ideas to an audience or a Southwestern Company salesperson selling products to a client, you are above all servicing a customer. And as part of providing exceptional service (and effective persuasiveness) you must first prepare your audience emotionally before launching into your presentation. The best way to do this is with the C.P.R. technique.
The metaphor for CPR comes from my “Bringing Your Presentation A.L.I.V.E.” disc on my 6 disc audio program “The Audience is NOT in their Underwear”.
The C stands for “Cut” open the wound. You do that by simply bringing up a pain point or a point of dissatisfaction for your prospect or audience. Simply bringing up a topic like this in your presentation will generate some emotion in your audience. If in sales you could say something like “has it ever happened to you where [your last product] failed on you?” Or as a speaker you could say “have you ever had [specific negative experience] happen to you?” Most presenters make it this far.
However, where the real magic happens is with P which stands for “Pour” salt on the wound. Pouring salt on the wound means that you allow your audience to focus on the pain and to an extent re-live whatever that negative experience was. This of course is critical as a presenter because it generates a wave of emotion and we know people don’t buy on logic; they buy on emotion – regardless of whether you are selling a product or an idea. The way you “pour” salt on the wound is by asking a feelings question like “how did that make you feel when [specific negative experience]?” Or ask the audience to tell you more or at least think in detail about that experience. Only the best of the best presenters and salespeople ever do this.
The R is the simplest part which stands for “Remedy” the pain. Most of us are fairly good at naturally explaining whatever our product or idea is and that is what you do hear. The reason why we don’t have better results from our communication is because we haven’t prepared our audience for this part yet. The difference is that now you have emotionally prepped them to receive your message which is critical in any communication process.
Rory Vaden, former Southwestern Company superstar, has accomplished much since graduation: he was the 2007 World Champion of Speaking 1st Runner Up, he has authored two books, and co-founded Success Starts Now!, a top-tier sales training organization.