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Tennessean Column- Sunday, July 27

Posted on : July 28

Author : Admin
Tennessean Column- Sunday, July 27

A Great Sales Presentation

Is it really a “sales presentation” if no one is listening?

As a prospect in front of sales people I do not always listen to what is being said.  It would be naïve to assume that we hold a prospect’s attention 100% of the time.  However, every salesperson can improve their presentation.

Here are some general tips to help you get better:

1.  
Establish rapport.  Before you start talking about your product or service be sure you have connected as a human being with your prospect.  It is so much easier to say no to someone you have no connection with.  Once you have found something in common with your prospect you can begin talking about your product or service.

If you have trouble establishing rapport memorize some opening questions like “Where are you from originally?”, “How long have you been here?” and “Where were you before this?”  Look around the prospect’s home or office and ask about something that stands out.  If the prospect is a referral, talk about the person who referred you.  You will get good at this if you keep practicing.

  2. Find a need for your product or service.  There is only one way to do it, ask questions.  No matter what product or service I have sold now or in the past I have written down a set of questions that will help me uncover needs for my product or service.  Make a promise to yourself that you will not start explaining your product or service until you have found a need for it.  If you cannot find a need, wrap up your meeting and go find someone who needs you.  It may seem harsh but why explain what you are selling to someone who does not need it.

3.  Ask a lot of questions.  I will never forget the first time I was a prospect and the salesperson made me listen.  No, he didn’t tie me up or threaten me.  He just asked a lot of questions.  “Does that make sense?”, “Would that be beneficial?” and “Are you with me so far?”  These types of questions keep the prospect engaged and listening.  Many salespeople are so excited to tell their story that they never pause to ask a question.  Do not present an idea without asking the prospect a question about it.  Most of your prospects have other things on their mind.  The mind can think three times faster than we can talk.  Therefore it is our job to keep them focused on our product or service.

4.  
Tell stories.  People love stories.  An entertaining real life story is the best way to communicate an idea.  It is not you, the do anything to get the sale salesperson talking.  It is the third party person in the story talking.  Recently, there have been more and more studies and articles about the power of storytelling in sales.  If the story is funny, even better.

However, funny or not, get some stories about how clients used your product or service successfully.  Pre-plan stories that illustrate your most important benefits.  Tell stories that answer objections and stories that portray a happier, more successful customer because they did business with you.

5.  Ask for the business.  Another time I will write an article on closing but for now just know that there is no sales presentation without a call for a decision.  Great salespeople pre-plan their close.  No matter what product I sold I knew when I would ask the obligating question and what that question would be.

I am always surprised when the meeting and presentation goes great and the salesperson does not ask the obligating question.  Here is one that almost always works to get a decision or to move the sales process to the next step.  “Bill, what kind of decision making process would you go through in order to determine whether or not you would move forward?”  Once you have established the decision making process you have moved the sale forward or you are done with this prospect.

Strive to make every presentation better than the last.  Work on these five points all together or one at a time.  When you perfect these your name will go high on the list of “the greatest salespeople”.

www.tennessean.com 

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