The MOSCOW Method: How to sell yourself without selling [Book Review]
I met the enigmatic author of The MOSCOW Method, Dexter Moscow several years ago and had the pleasure of providing him and his charming wife with LinkedIn training – a social media platform he excels at for raising his profile.
I was delighted to discover his new book, The MOSCOW Method: How to sell yourself without selling, as I knew before I even opened it that it would be a good read jam-packed with stories. Dexter is a master storyteller and the book didn't disappoint. His anecdotes, taken from many years of working in sales and as a sales trainer (notably with the well-known shopping channel QVC), pepper this easy-to-read book. In fact, I read it cover to cover in an afternoon.
Dexter takes the letters of his surname as the acronym for his sales process:
- M = Mindset
- O = Objective
- S = Sensory acuity
- C = Congruency
- O = Order, and
- W = Work the room
The MOSCOW Method is all about connecting with your audience at an emotional level. His method will make you think about the words you use, the way you present them – and yourself – and the body language we so often forget about. His framework will help you overcome your fear of public speaking by concentrating on your presentation's:
M = Mindset
I'm a strong believer that most obstacles in business can be overcome by altering your mindset. Easy to say but not always easy to do. Entering a boardroom full of people you're presenting to can be daunting and if you don't believe in what you are about to deliver, nor will the audience.
O = Objective
Consider carefully the ultimate aim of your presentation. Dexter advises us to ensure the content is addressing the problems the audience is facing and providing a solution by engaging, enlightening, exciting and entertain them. We're here to talk about THEM as not about ourselves.
S = Sensory Acuity
Our presentations will be more effective if we use words which match the different ways people perceive information. He uses the example of “picture this” or “let me draw your attention to…” for making visual people relate to the content of the speech. Auditory people, who probably enjoy a live presentation anyway, will be impacted by the tone and pace of your voice as well as the words which resonate (excuse the pun) such, “hear”, “listen” and “ring”.
Gaining the trust of the people you're addressing is the key to selling. Drawing them into your talk will help build that connection and further the relationship.
C = Congruency
I found this chapter in the book fascinating and I know you will too. Did you know the word “because” is powerful – look at page 93 for the results of a study which proved that you can move someone to accept your idea by the simple, but elegant use of the word “because”. this part of the book will certainly make me go back over the content of my presentations as well as my writing.
O = Order
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Dexter sets out a roadmap for your talk with tips for keeping the audience entranced. Start with a ‘shocking statistic', a ‘personal experience', a mystery, quote or joke. Continue by moving them along your road-map helped along by some props because that's what they will remember.
W = Work the room
This isn't a phrase I'm particularly fond of but Dexter has to find a word to fit the W in his name, so I'll forgive it just this once!
Not a fan of PowerPoint or being stuck behind a lectern, Dexter describes how to effortlessly involve the audience by moving about and even joining the body of the room. Regarding this, I'll take Dexter's advice:
Practice makes permanent
You won't feel short-changed reading this book as there's a whole chapter devoted to networking. Sound advice for people who find the challenge of walking into a room full of strangers daunting.
So, in summary:
If, like me, you are one of those people who in the business of ‘selling' but dislike intensely coming across as salesy, then this is the book for you.