What’s Your Drop the Mic Moment?

Your sales presentation needs one so customers take action.

By Julie Hansen

Good salespeople have a strong central message setting them apart from the competition and addressing a customer’s primary interests.

Great salespeople are able to deliver the message in a compelling and memorable way that makes a customer sit up and take notice. In other words, great salespeople have what you might call a “drop the mic” moment.

In case you’re unfamiliar with the phrase, drop the mic refers to the bold gesture of dropping the microphone after delivering a strong one-liner, performance, or even an insult. When a performer drops the mic, it confirms for the audience they’ve just experienced something noteworthy—something worth remembering.

As buying cycles get longer and competition more fierce, it’s important your key point doesn’t walk out the door with you, or worse, is attributed to your competition. A drop the mic moment can help assure you make the impact necessary to propel customers to take action.

Too often I see salespeople miss a potential drop the mic moment by burying their key message in a pile of information, rushing too quickly to their next point, or even overexplaining their point—which defeats the whole purpose by watering down an otherwise strong message.

Here are four easy steps to leverage the power of a drop the mic moment with your audience, in person or on the phone.

1. Identify your drop the mic moment

People recall less than one-third of what they’ve heard a week later. That’s why most experts agree on having one central idea as the core of your message. So what is the one central idea, point, or result essential for your prospective customer to know and remember in order to move the sale forward?

And by the way, if you don’t decide, you’re leaving the decision up to your customer.

Depending on the customer or the opportunity, your drop the mic moment might be an insight, a result, a call to action, or even a challenge to their way of thinking.

2. Make your drop the mic moment memorable

Make it easy for your customer to remember your mic drop moment by summarizing it into a simple, catchy “power-bite” (a powerful sound bite) or catchphrase.

The most popular TED Talks often turn their central idea into a memorable phrase of three to 12 words and implant it in the minds of audience members. This is also used frequently in politics, most recently with Donald Trump’s catchphrase: “Make America Great Again”.

So while you may want a prospective customer to remember: “We diagnose and repair a variety of well system problems like no or low water pressure, water system noises, and bad tasting or discolored water”—customers are much more likely to remember a compelling and succinct statement like:
“We are the CSI of water wells!”

3. Plan your drop the mic moment

Where is the best place to drop your mic?

The end of your sales call or presentation seems like a natural place, but I suggest you don’t wait that long—especially if you have busy people who may cut you short.

Place it near the beginning to set the stage for your conversation. The rest of your call or presentation should prove out your drop the mic moment. If you have a longer call or presentation, it’s also a good idea to “bookend” your drop the mic moment at the end to reinforce what you said at the beginning.

4. Drop the mic!

Make sure your drop the mic moment doesn’t fall on deaf ears. Be sure you have your audience’s attention before you deliver it. Eliminate all distractions—people, technology, slides, handouts. Then pause for a sufficient length (three to four seconds), and think about changing your voice—its tone, volume, or pace. Then it is you’re ready to . . .

Drop the mic! Don’t rush, use confident body language, and then (and this is key): Stop talking.

You don’t see performers drop the mic and then pick it up again to explain what they meant or why they said what they did. This pause is critical to give your customers a chance to process your message and perhaps respond. They will recognize the significance of the moment not just by your words, but by your delivery and the added pause.

Being a great salesperson today means finding dynamic ways to make certain your key message is remembered by today’s busy buyers and customers. A drop the mic moment is a simple and powerful tool to help you make sure . . . the message sticks!


Julie Hansen is a professional sales trainer, speaker, and author. She authored the book ACT Like a Sales Pro in 2011 and has been featured in Selling Power, Entrepreneur, and Sales and Service Excellence magazines. She can be reached at julie@actingforsales.com and www.actingforsales.com.

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