I am not a big advocate of giving sales presentations.

I prefer to sell without them whenever possible.

Sometimes they are necessary though, particularly when you are selling to a group of people.

So when you do have to give a prepared pitch, you should take a cue from John McCain and “Go Last”.

The Democrats just wrapped up their political convention here in the US last week, and the Republicans are just starting theirs this week.

McCain and the Republicans planned long ago to hold their convention immediately following the Democratic convention.

And look what has happened.

Obama and the Democrats staged an impressive football stadium full of people live event that made Obama look like a rock star for an evening.

They had hoped that such an event would be the talk of the news media, and people in their living rooms and around their Labor Day BBQs for a good 4 to 5 days after.

But McCain and the Republicans stole their thunder.

By “Going Last” on the schedule of their “sales presentations”, they got to steal all the attention of the news media and a lot of the over the BBQ chit-chat with McCain’s VP pick on Friday of Governor Sarah Palin.

Obama and the Democrats didn’t see that one coming.

And from what I’ve read over the weekend, they are scrambling to react to this unexpected curveball.

I know some people will write back and whine and complain to me that I shouldn’t write about politics, or that I am stumping for McCain, or whatever.

Well that’s just tough.

There’s a lesson here if you can be objective long enough to see it.

Who will win this election, I don’t know. No one does.

But McCain and the Republicans did steal the momentum back in their favor, by scheduling their convention and his VP pick right at a time when people shoulda been talking about how amazing Obama was with his rock star stadium speech.

That’s the lesson.

When you have to give a presentation, plan to go last.

Do whatever you can to get on your prospect’s schedule after your competitors.

Maneuver for it. Delay committing. Cancel and reschedule if necessary.

But go last.

And save something exciting to tell your prospect so that momentum builds and peaks for you just as your prospect is ready to make a decision.

Sales decisions are emotional ones, and your job is to manage the prospect’s emotions in your favor.

Sell with Pride,

Shameless Shamus Brown

P.S. You can often get away without giving any “sales presentation” at all when you sell my way.