Make compelling sales presentations by using “James Bond” flow

The current storytelling trend is based on a triad that I find particularly suitable for sales presentations. It can be applied to presentations very easily, and is what I use most often, because it adapts well to any sales situation.

  • Step 1: Hook their attention
  • Step 2: Spark the desire for change
  • Step 3: Persuade with rational arguments

Sales presentation flow inspired by the movies

Sales presentations & James BOnd FlowIn fact, you are already familiar with this flow. You’ve seen it used often, in situations other than sales presentations, like at the movies, particularly in James Bond films. Let’s take a look:

  • Step 1: Hook their attention
    All James Bond films begin with a relatively short, very intense action scene, where he blows up a Soviet military base, is pursued by an army of tanks, planes and helicopters, jumps from a cliff several hundred meters high without a parachute and manages to grab onto the fuselage of a plane that flies by, and so forth. These first 10 minutes hook the audience, slake their thirst for action, and reassure them that they are indeed in the right film.
  • Step 2: Spark the desire for change
    In this phase of the film, the director has created unbearable drama that every member of the audience wants out of. Something like: James Bond is trapped in the wilds of Tibet, he has been a prisoner for six months, he is being tortured in a fortress with walls 2m thick, and he has no way out. The more unsolvable the drama, the more intense the suspense, and the better the film.
  • Step 3: The resolution
    MI6’s genius British engineer “Q” has sent the amphibian flying car, the beautiful spy helps James Bond escape, he kills all the bad guys and kisses the beautiful spy in the final scene. The solution is of course only interesting because of the inextricable nature of the drama James Bond was caught up in.

Are you with me? Remember James Bond flow?… Sure, but what does it have to do with sales presentations? Well, James Bond flow is a classic sales technique that can adapt to as many sales situations as there are James Bond films in the series!

Sales presentations based on “James Bond” flow

Sales presentations & James BOnd FlowJames Bond flow-based sales presentations have exactly the same structure:

  • Step 1: Connect with clients, hook their attention by reminding them of their need.
  • Step 2: Dramatize the problem to be solved, and the urgent need for a solution.
  • Step 3: Solve it, resolve the drama by proposing your product or service as the solution

Does this seem difficult or theoretical? Make no mistake; many of us sales people use this flow every day in our sales presentations. But the true master was Steve Jobs.  (Here is an article describing how he used James Bond flow to present the iPod in 2001 – Coming soon)

We can chart James Bond flow

Sure, there are other flows, but this one is easy to use in sales. Start with this one. It works in any sales situation. Once you have mastered it fully, you can move towards more complex structures. In fact, some day you’ll need to go further, but start with this. You’ll see, it works well.

Many sales people combine the first two steps, others launch straight into the third. I think this is poor economics: it kills the interest of the presentation. I think you should do just the opposite: that’s how most films hook the audience, and it’s what Steve Jobs did regularly.

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