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The Planned Presentation

Posted on: January 30

Author: Admin
The Planned Presentation

January 30, 2009The Planned Presentation: The Only One Worth GivingA planned presentation is not only a building block for a great performance, it is central to the entire sales process. And yet, no principle I've taught over the years has been met with more resistance. However, there is no principle I believe in any more strongly than this.I can just hear the groans now. "But Tom...- I don't want to sound canned.- I want to be flexible.- Every situation is different.- I talk to different levels of decision makers, so I need different presentations."I say: "OK, fine. Making these excuses is a lot easier than doing the work of a professional, which is planning your sales presentation."Yes, There is a Best PresentationI believe in a planned presentation and here is why. First, the best tool you have is your words. What comes out of your mouth determines your success or failure. If this weren't true, everyone could just send out brochures and fancy PowerPoint presentations and make six figures a year. If you believe you have value as a salesperson, then it is in the words you say when you talk to prospects. That must be a given!There are some things you say that communicate our message better than others and lead to the results you want. Let's call these words, "the best sales presentation possible."The best sales presentation possible is not vastly different each time. There are certain benefits and features of every product that must be communicated, and those benefits and features must be communicated in the best way possible. Best, by definition, means one, exclusive, alone; the best way is better than any other way by its very definition. There are not five best ways; there can be only one best way.Your goal is to give the best presentation you can to each and every prospect. How do you get there? You have a choice based on your experience -- shoot from the hip, go with the flow, or plan your presentation. It's your choice, but the only way to give the ever-elusive "best" presentation and to give it every time is to plan it.Here are some thoughts about why it pays to plan your presentation:I. Have Planned ResponsesIf your presentation is planned, you'll have time to think about your prospects' verbal and non-verbal reactions and comments. If you have to think of what you're going to say next, you simply can't do that.II. Gain Heightened EfficiencyEfficiency is the second advantage of planning your presentation. No non-relevant material can creep into your presentation to distract you or your prospect. You don't repeat yourself. You cover all the salient points in the most efficient manner possible.III. Guarantee ThoroughnessThird, you guarantee that you are more thorough. Perhaps that is really just a part of efficiency, but it helps to think of it separately. You never leave anything out, and you never present important points in the wrong place in your presentation if you've planned and practiced.Unplanned presentations can go on forever, leave important points out, and in general be wastes of qualified prospects' time. You can also miss important buying signs, interest signs, and signs of concern because you have to worry about what you are going to say next rather than pay attention to the nonverbal communication that is taking place. If you are only listening to yourself, you can't listen to the prospect!IV. Practice to Make PerfectAnother reason for giving a planned presentation is to better gauge your results. No professional athlete experiments with his shot, stroke, or swing. Can you imagine Pete Sampras saying to himself at Wimbledon: "You know, I think I'll try a couple of different serve motions today."Or Kobe Bryant saying: "I'm going to shoot my jump shot differently every time this game."Albert Pujols, baseball great with the St. Louis Cardinals, prides himself on taking the same swing every time. All the pros tweak and constantly strive to improve, but their basic motions stay the same. It's when they stray from that basic motion that they have slumps or bad games.The same is true in sales. Great salespeople can have bad days, bad weeks, or longer slumps when they stray from their basic planned presentation.To Your Success,Tom

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