Still Great Advice after 30 Years
I was in a Sales Training class while in the process of becoming a stockbroker in New York City in 1981. The class was led by one of the top Stockbrokers, a gentleman named Bard Quku, who was a bit cross eyed and had a lisp, who gave a presentation of how he built a very successful practice.
As Bard told the story, he had to overcome some challenges on initial cold calls because of the sound of his last name and his lisp. So he chose to do educational seminars as well, and that is where he could use those challenges to his advantage. His seminars always started with “You might be wondering what a strange named, cross-eyed, and lisping man can say that makes good advice?” He completely disarmed us all.
Then, he told the training class another simple discovery that made all the difference in the success of his seminars. The key to his effectiveness was that he went against the mainstream thought which was: “you must prove that you are smarter than your audience.” He implored us to do the opposite and construct our seminars as though we were speaking to 10 year olds!
Why? Bard said it was more important for the audience to understand the speaker, so they would actually learn a thing or two; and more importantly they would feel comfortable. Bard was smart, but not that smart that he was intimidating. Before any new educational seminars he would rehearse in front of one of his young daughters and if they didn’t understand his points, he would simplify them.
So here we are now 30 years later, I don’t remember much of his self proclaimed oddities, but his advice has stayed with me and has been repeated to clients time and time again. When talking with your staffs you cannot make it simple enough, it is not that they are not smart, but like most people they are overwhelmed with information. Keep it simple as if they were 10 year olds; just don’t let them know that!
Side note, I googled Bard to see if he was still practicing and was excited to see he was named as one of the Top Ten Brokers on Wall Street.
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