Keep It Simple

Keep It Simple


I have noticed that when I come up with a new idea – whether it is a sales presentation, radio ad or seminar—I usually include too many thoughts.

For example, I will write my new idea for a radio ad. Then, when I go to record it in the one-minute time allotment, there’s just no way to fit in all the information. It might take two minutes to communicate all the ideas I want to include. That is when I start cutting some of the material. My final edit of a one-minute ad is often quite revealing. The ad is clear, concise and focused. Doesn’t it have to be? I only have one minute!

Winston Churchill once said, “If you want me to speak for an hour— give me a moment’s notice; if you want me to speak for half an hour, give me a day’s notice; if you want me to speak for five minutes—give me a week.” Some of the most memorable and famous speeches ever presented can be recited in ten minutes or less. In other words, I don’t have to be concise if I have an hour. Could you clearly get your sales message delivered in ten minutes? Try it—the exercise will be valuable for you.

How long is your sales presentation? Thirty minutes? One hour? Two hours?

When I create a new seminar presentation for the first time – for example, our new Social Security seminar—I have a tendency to put in every detail I know on the topic. It may start out with as many as 50 slides. Then, I review what I have created and on every slide I ask myself, “What is the point of this slide? Can the presentation be effective, and more focused, if I remove it?”

Now, let’s apply this thinking to your presentation. Do you plant the following seeds in every presentation?

  • Optimize Social Security Income
  • Recommend Annuities for Safety, Growth and Income
  • Life Insurance for Death Benefit Protection and Tax-Free Retirement Income
  • Prudent Money Management
  • Consideration of Reverse Mortgages
  • Long-Term Care Insurance Coverage and
  • Estate Planning

Hopefully, you just responded with the answer, “No.” These diverse and complex topics encompass entirely too much information to cover in a single presentation. Unless your prospect is uniquely focused and very intelligent you will likely only confuse them and lose the sale.

What if you remove the estate-planning topic? Are you now focused with an easily understood plan? The answer, once again, is “No.” You are still covering too many ideas.

What if you talked about only Social Security? Social Security is a great “door opener” and facilitates the broader conversation concerning maximization of income in retirement. This topic may be used as a foundation to spring board into additional topics like annuity or life insurance sales. I have learned to keep things simple and focused, and present the least amount of information necessary to make a prospect confident that their buying decision is a good idea. Once you have established a relationship based on trust and confidence there will be opportunities to cover the additional topics and create a plan that meets your client’s needs and provides you with a continuing source of new business.


Picture this: You are 90 minutes into your presentation, and your prospect tells you, “You had me about an hour ago.” Has that ever happened to you? This begs the question: Why do we try to provide so much information and offer so many different strategies all at once?

The answer: A lack of confidence.

We are not convinced that what we say is good enough to close the sale. Instead of asking for the sale early on, we give more information, and then more and even more.

In the sales process, I ask closing questions in the first 5 minutes of the presentation.

You’ve heard it before, and it’s as simple as ABC—Always Be Closing. I have closed hundreds of sales so quickly (within 30-45 minutes) that I usually spend another 30-60 minutes after the sale is completed to reinforce what we just did.

I am not advocating you switch to a “one-call-close” if you currently do a “2-3 call-close,” but I encourage you to be deliberate in the information and strategies you share. Have the end in mind. What are you trying to accomplish and what can you accomplish in a first-sale scenario? Once you have a client, you can keep selling to them for the rest of their lives if you continue to add value.

A leading grocery store chain created a display with over 100 different jams, jellies and preserves. They utilized a hidden camera to observe the buyer’s behavior. Only 17% of the shoppers who stopped at the display actually purchased a jar.

Then the store changed the selection to just two choices: Strawberry Jam and Grape Jelly. The result was that 47% of the shoppers purchased.

Can you imagine how much money you would make if you made a sale to almost half of your prospects?

Well, let’s figure it out—here are some numbers to illustrate this point (Keep in mind that, on average, one Social Security seminar mailer will provide you with 100 prospects.):

  • 1 Mailer to 7,500 – 10,000 Potential Prospects
  • 100 Prospects Attend the Seminars
  • 60 Households
  • 30 Set Appointments
  • 25 Keep the Appointment

You Close 47%—so that equals 11.75. Now, keep in mind the average annuity sale is $100,000 and the average commission is 6% or $6,000 in this illustration.

  • 11.75 X $6,000 = $70,000
  • 12 months X $70,000 = $840,000

Congratulations—you now earn more than 98% of the American population! And why are you now earning so much?

It’s simple, you kept it simple!


There isn’t any question or objection you can throw at me about the product I am presenting that I can’t answer. Having the answers builds confidence —first in me, and then in my prospect. This makes them comfortable when making the buying decision.

Keep it simple and remain focused. Know the product and company that you are selling. If you concentrate your efforts on one or two products, then you can study those until you answer every question and objection that comes your way.


  • Keep it Simple. When it comes to presenting: Less is more.
  • Shorten your presentation and deliver your most compelling information clearly and concisely.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for the sale early and often—and with confidence.
  • Know the product you are selling. Know the answers to your prospects’ objections before they even ask.
  • If you can deliver on these four things, I am confident that you will see your sales increase dramatically.

I wish you great selling,

Karlan Tucker

Putting The “Pop” In Your Presentation

Presentations are more persuasive when they touch both mind and heart at multiple levels. The point of a presentation is to convince prospective clients to make a commitment to the plan we are presenting. Although the motivation for such commitment may come from any number of elements, almost without exception, the decision to take action is fueled by emotion. Presentations that “pop” stir the emotions.

Here are few ways to put the “pop” in your next presentation:

Make it vivid: Presentations get bogged down when we use abstract concepts and generalizations (for example; “reduce fees” or “increase returns”) as opposed to concrete real-life and its offerings—you won’t persuade many. And it’s not enough to simply believe; it must be obvious to your prospective client (for example, “Give you peace of mind” or “Create a paycheck that you can’t outlive”). )

Put your heart into it: If you don’t really believe in yourself, your firm, and its offerings, you’ll persuade no one. And it’s not enough to simply believe, it must be obvious to your prospective clients that you’re a true believer. Remember, the sale is first made in your head, then theirs. Belief leads to convictions, and conviction leads to sales.

Narrow your focus: Too many objectives can kill a presentation before it ever gets started. The temptation is to broaden our focus hoping that by doing so something will catch the attention of the prospective client. The problem is that when we give in to this temptation, we blunt the edge of our presentation because we lose our passion, enthusiasm, and confidence. Instead, we need to define our target well, take careful aim, and be sure that everything we are saying is driving at that bull’s eye.

Personalize your examples: Presentations should cause and emotional shift in our perspective clients from being “undecided” to being “certain”. One of the best ways to ensure this shift is to make the presentation relevant to your client’s life context by including information that you have previously gathered through a fact-finding session.