Enjoyed a few days of vacation with extended family. Had the “pleasure” of sitting in on an infomercial for one of those resort presentations — a very soft sell intended to raise awareness of the “opportunity”. I’m always a little wary of such things, and I have the constitution to say no rather easily. So I sat back and watched the presentation just to see how they’d do — millions of dollars hang in the balance.The marketing guy was clearly an extrovert and had done this little dog and pony show hundreds of times. He didn’t get hung on any of his major points, passed off to the “recreation director” and back without much trouble, and handled the token drawing with aplomb and enough energy to get a passing grade (how exciting can it be to give away a drink holder and a tshirt for the umpteenth time?!). Then came the moment of truth, the call to action, the big climatic closing. And he… flopped.The biggest mistake was the phrase something like, “that’s all we have for this morning“. He tried to get a summary of the resort property in and a last ditch piece of information on how you could attend the Big Show, but when those fatal words were issued, he completely lost his audience. They started standing up, milling about, gathering their things, talking to each other — basically giving no attention to the speaker. Even if one wanted to give him their attention, the noise level and action/distraction was enough to prevent all but the closest people from hearing a word he said.His chance to leave folks with a lasting impression of what the opportunity was and how they could get on board was lost by giving the indication he was done when he really wasn’t.

End on your terms and don’t dismiss the audience until you’re through.

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