Are you making this persuasion mistake

The worst date I ever went on started off really well.

He was smart. He made me laugh. We had a ton in common. As I sipped my latte, I thought “Wow, this guy has potential.”

Then the conversation took a turn for the weird.

He started grilling me on my past relationships, whether I wanted kids or not, and started talking about our shared future together.

Thirty minutes in and we’re talking about the future. YIKES.

My stomach churned with anxiety and my eyes darted toward the door. As soon as there was an opportunity, I said “It was very nice to meet you, but no” and I fled.

The mistake this well-intentioned chap made: Asking too much, too soon in the relationship.

But I see this persuasion mistake used by many of the solopreneuer and micro-entrepreneurs who use speaking to build their business.

They overwhelm and over-ask.

They step to the front of the room, in front of people they met only moments ago, spew information, and pitch their product or service.

And the audience feels like I did on my super bad coffee date, overwhelmed, confused, and desperately trying to locate the exit.

Long-lasting persuasion, where people get to know, like, and trust you doesn’t start with a deluge of facts and an imposing offer. When people buy-in to your vision typically doesn’t begin with “buy my crap.”

Here are 3 questions to ask yourself to avoid making this presentation mistake and boost your conversion rate.

What does this audience know about me?

Does the audience know you from Adam (or Eve as the case might be)?

Have they heard about you before? Do they read your blog? Do they follow you on Twitter? Did a friend recommend they hear you speak? Have they heard you speak before?

The answers to all of these questions tell you about the relationship you currently have with the audience.

Your call-to-action should be in direct proportion to how well the audience knows you.

The deeper the relationship, the bigger the ask you can make.

If you don’t have the relationship with the audience, and you ask for a large investment into your product or service, that’s equivalent to asking for someone’s social security number for a mortgage application on the very first date.

It’s suspect. Don’t do it.

What does this audience know about the topic?

There’s an old persuasive strategy (that is definitely dark side tactic) that you should overwhelm your audience with information.

Basically, you give them so much information, they get confused, start thinking it’s too hard to do it on their own and the only way to solve this overwhelm is to buy your expertise or product..

Sure. This works for a few audience members. However, more savvy audience members don’t like the way that you’ve made them feel (overwhelmed and confused) so they won’t buy into your message, no matter how good it is.

Always start your persuasive endeavor with what the audience knows about your topic and then use your speech to take them to the next step. The speech should create a bite sized experience of you and what your business does. That’s the way you show the audience that you’re a valuable ally.

Give the audience the next step and then your call-to-action can be how to go even deeper.

What’s the ask that gets me closer to yes?

Based on the relationship you have with the audience and what they already know about your topic, you can decide upon the call-to-action that gets you to an easy yes.

What is the next step the audience should take with you? Is it a consult? Your book? A free meditation? Buying your program?

What gets you to that easy yes?

Keep in mind that you should offer only one thing because as some wise sage said “A confused mind always says no!”

If you’re giving them too many choices, the easiest choice for them to make is no.

Choose the best ask that gets you closer to that yes.

Start viewing your presentations like a date. If it’s your first date with an audience, the goal should be getting a second date not planning your wedding and naming your kids.

Always keep in mind what the audience knows about you, what they understand about your message, and pick the best ask to get you closer to yes.