Prime Minister Imran Khan’s no-nonsense speech today at UN General Assembly has numerous lessons for students of leadership, psychology, marketing and sales. He, without wasting time, came straight to his four point sales pitch to audience, namely, climate, tax havens/money laundering, Islamophobia and Kashmir. Being a sales trainer, I can relate his historic speech to the world of selling. Here are the five lessons we can draw from his speech.
1- Be Original:
Imran Khan wearing traditional Pakistani dress in the corridors of world powers and starting his speech with Quranic verse (Iyya ka na bodo wa iyya ka nastaeen, means “Thee do we serve and Thee do we beseech help”) and speaking extempore, words flowing from his heart is the hallmark of a true salesman. Legendary salespeople retain their originality no matter how august the audience is. At such forums, world leaders normally read written speeches but Imran Khan, maintaining his Khan-ness, was speaking from the depths of his heart. Only the telesales people selling credit cards give canned sales pitches. World class sales people don’t read from PowerPoint slides. They speak what they truly believe in.
2- Body Language:
During the entire 50 minute speech, Imran Khan’s body language was brutally confident. Not for a single moment, he lost his focus. His tone and aggression was like kings of Sparta. He was firm, authentic, captivating and extremely poised. At no point, he was apologetic. Legendary sales people exhibit their confidence with strong body language. They ooze out their charisma and magnetism with their strong postures.
3- Strong Content:
Imran Khan’s speech was loaded with surgically sharpened points and wrapped in power words. He gave examples from classic and contemporary history, dissected the problems and suggested solutions. His power words cast spell on the audience and everybody was listening his speech with riveted attention.
Legendary sales people don’t beat about the bush. Their sales pitch has meat and juicy meat. When sales pitch has strong content, people don’t yawn and wink eyes. Great sales people are great story tellers. Stories narrated with emotions make people sit on the edges. Stories are an effective way to put the points across.
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Imran Khan’s entire speech was a beautiful bouquet of emotions of anger, frustration, humor, highs and lows. He was dove and hawk simultaneously. You can’t create emotions when you are reading scripted speech. When words flow from the deep recesses of heart, you induce emotions.
Professional sales people speak with emotions. Selling is transference of emotions from one heart to another. Only the emotions give goose bumps.
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5- Cost & Benefit Analysis:
Imran Khan told the world in unambiguous words that peace will prevail only if core issue of Kashmir would be resolved and if atrocities of India in Kashmir were not checked, war between two nuclear states would engulf the whole world.
Pro sales people clearly show the compelling benefits of their product, service or idea and also tell the negative side of not buying. Inducing fear in the hearts and minds of potential customers of potential loss is a great sales tactic to create urgency.