Whether your business is selling widgets or creative ideas, you must make sales to drive revenue. And if you’re selling, then you’re also pitching to potential customers. I’ve been in sales for more than 20 years and have learned a few things along the way that are worth sharing:
The most important part of your sales presentation is the pre-meeting discovery call to uncover your prospect’s issues and needs. Your presentation should respond to everything you learned. Very similar to a job interview, ask the customer what they are looking for in a candidate, then spend the interview positioning yourself accordingly.
Next is preparation. For me, the more prepared I am, the more relaxed and genuine I am. It improves my ability to interact without losing concentration or control of the presentation. Don’t confuse this with a memorized speech: Preparation is about aligning the content and key points that I want to communicate.
An article in Entrepreneur magazine offers some tips for the next step: Sitting down with the potential customer. Here’s a summary of 5 tips to help you refine your sales presentation for greater success:
1.Avoid product knowledge mistakes.
There are three common pitfalls to avoid regarding product knowledge:
1. Not knowing your product
2. Sharing too much about your product
3. Not knowing your competition
The article sums it up well: “You can never know too much but you can certainly talk too much. Become an expert with your product and be able to discuss features, advantages, and benefits better than anyone. When comparing products, know how your product is different, know the advantages, and know how to make sense of the purchase.
2. Control your presentation.
Leading with solid preparation, your ultimate goal is to gain complete control while presenting. “The way to gain control is by getting an agreement. Get the buyer’s full attention, get the product away from other products so they aren’t distracted, and present the product while in full control.”
3. Find what the buyer values.
Tell your customer what you’re going to do and get an agreement. Example: What matters most to you when you purchase uniforms for your staff? Are you looking first for quality or lowest cost? Quality? Great, then let’s discuss how our vendor network allows us to provide the best in brand-name quality.
“Be interesting and reassure the customer with any concerns. Break your presentation down into parts. Know where you’re going to start and end. Always get permission to give the presentation, address the time (how long it’ll take), invite any questions they may have, and start in the same place every time you give the presentation. You want stability for yourself.”
4. Avoid making lazy mistakes.
Always do a demonstration. Don’t take the opportunity for granted when you sit down with your customer. With today’s technology, demonstrations need not be time consuming, but rather, engaging and informative exchanges with your potential customer.
5. Anticipate objections.
You’re going to get objections when you try and do a sales presentation—it happens to the best of us.
“I don’t need to see how it operates”
“I know all about it”
“Don’t shortcut the presentation because this is where you build value. Understand that these objections are reactions, not valid objections. To handle these, be committed to your demonstration. You have to know that your demonstration will be of value to your client.”
Access the full article here: http://entm.ag/ebh
Do you have sales presentation tips that aren’t on this list? I’d like to hear them. Connect with me @ firstname.lastname@example.org
Bob De Garmo