Even when you make a persuasive sales presentation, it may take weeks or months of follow-up before you get a decision. That’s why your objective must be to burn memorable examples and key points into the prospective customer’s mind. You don’t do that by being average.
Here’s what the average sales presentation looks and sounds like.
“Hello, I am John Jones. Please allow me to introduce you to the team: Dick, Steve, and Susan. Thank you for your time.
We are from the XYZ Company…This is what we do…This is how long we have been in business…This is what we are known for…These are our customers you may know…We would like you to be our customer too…”
Is that boring or what? When the sales presentation offers a ho-hum first impression, who gives a hoot? What’s needed is a more powerful and effective approach.
Model these eight steps and you’ll create a presentation that best fits your business and delivers a memorable customer-centered experience.
1. Offer a Genuine Tribute
Open with an accomplishment that makes your prospective customer proud. This demonstrates you’ve done your homework. Say something such as, “Congratulations on the success of your recent product launch, marketing campaign, expansion, etc.”
2. Outline Their Challenge
Delay talking about your product or solution. A more effective approach is to speak to the prospect’s current problems, challenges, or opportunities. “We believe this is the right time to make a bold forward move and…”
3. Position Your Solution
After defining your prospect’s challenges, the timing is right to present your positive solution, product, or service. Afterwards, everybody else thanks the prospective customer for his or her time…so don’t. Instead, try this. “We appreciate the opportunity to discuss how our company’s solution, products or services (be specific with your recap) can help you overcome your challenge or seize this opportunity.”
4. Recognize and Thank Your Champion
If you have an advocate inside the prospective customer’s team, now is the right time to thank that person. “Thank you, Jennifer, for your generosity of time and information that helped us understand your company’s problems, challenges, or opportunities.”
5. Provide Experience and Testimonials
Your prospective customer must understand how your product or service will profit and improve their business. Success stories, case histories, and testimonials make powerful tools. Use them! When you do this, you represent yourself and your team as trusted advisers with a consultative selling approach…and not as just another sales team.
6. Review Key Points
Ask a rhetorical question or make a simple statement based on your solution. “So how will your company improve by doing business with us?” Or “As you have heard, our company’s approach to helping you overcome your challenges (or seize these opportunities) is…”
7. Close with Confidence Not a Question
One mistake many sales people or sales teams make is closing the presentation with a question. Don’t think your prospective customer hasn’t already heard all possible closing questions. They have. Close on a high note and then let your last words linger. Depending on the complexity of your offer or the number of people involved, you may want to say something like, “At this point, the next step that makes the most sense is…”
8. Highlight Your Key Point and Benefit
Your last words are perhaps the most important, so avoid bringing up a new idea you have no time to develop. It will sound like you’re scrambling. Instead, consider something like this. “Again, thank you for the opportunity to demonstrate how our approach, solutions, products, or services can help you achieve success. We look forward to our next meeting. Mr. Prospect, remember the results of (testimonial of other successful customer). They brought us in with the same timeline as yours. So you have the benefit of knowing we pioneered this solution, etc.”
Most sales people are reasonably persuasive in their presentations because of their focus on the offering. But, very few know how to open and close effectively by being positive and memorable. By positive, I don’t mean all smiley-faced and all that typically accompanies an overexcited sales person. I mean the positivity that comes from being confident.
How are you going to open and close your next sales presentation? You should know exactly what you will say and how you will say it. Are you prepared?
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