Most of you are probably familiar with the classic public speaking adage to “Know your audience.”
This is great advice for salespeople, too.
The idea, of course, is that when a speaker or salesperson is familiar with the person(s) on the other
side of the table, the person speaking can address that person’s needs.
That second part is important. It’s not knowledge about your audience that makes you a better salesperson, it’s what you do with that knowledge.
Put another way, it’s not what you know about your audience, it’s how you use that info to
customize your presentation so that what you say resonates.
This means that you should not give the same presentation to every audience.
This means that a politician running for office should not give the same speech in every campaign stop.
Customize for every audience
Some business leaders believe that every employee should be treated the same.
While it’s true that there are basic considerations that should be afforded to all, each employee is different from the other.
Audiences consist of people, which means that every group is different, as well.
Older people are different from younger people. Men are different than women. Brits are different than Americans and so on.
I like engineers. They have a very linear way of thinking. I don’t have that skill, but I admire it.
Linear thinkers are known as “left-brain” people because they tend to be what Dr. Roger Sperry termed, “left-brain dominant” when it comes to problem solving and making decisions.
So when I know my audience on any given day is mostly “left-brained,” I customize my presentation or keynote to accommodate the sensibilities of the attendees.
Here’s a video with an easy example of how knowing if your audience is “left brained” or
“right brained” can help you connect with people in less much time.
A faster connection
The concept of message customization can do a lot to help you connect with people faster and in more meaningful ways.
If you’re a salesperson, you can use this technique to help more people, reduce your sales cycle and even edge out the competition.
Here are some easy ways to know your audience before speaking to them:
- Familiarize yourself with the event registration list
- Research the group online
- Interview a few attendees by phone before the event
- Arrive early to mingle with the audience
- Poll the audience before you officially start your presentation
For more speaking tips, read Good Communication Never Goes Out of Style.