Understand these five simple tips to giving the perfect sales presentation, and you'll ultimately close more deals.
For the first three years of my selling career, I faced a frustrating problem: I gave great sales presentations, but couldn't close sales. I just couldn't understand it – my presentations were totally by the book. I began each sales meeting with a persuasive pitch, followed by a run-down of the features and benefits of my product. I was confident. I glowed with enthusiasm. And none of it was working. Most meetings would end with prospects telling me, "I have to think it over and get back to you."
They never did get back to me, and I eventually figured out why. I was giving old-school sales presentations that simply weren't effective anymore.
Since that time, I have learned to look at sales presentations in a completely new way – a way that actually works. I have, in turn, trained thousands of salespeople all over the world on how to give the perfect sales presentation.
Here are the five most important tips I have to share:
It's common practice to begin sales meetings with presentations. Most salespeople walk into a prospect’s office and immediately begin talking about what makes their company different or why their product is great. The problem is that salespeople are launching into their presentations without first getting to understand the prospect. Use the first part of the meeting to ask questions in order to understand the prospect’s challenges. Only then can you determine what the prospect needs from you, or whether you can solve his problems at all. The presentation must follow that discussion, not precede it.
Most salespeople want to use their presentations to tell prospects about every benefit that their product has to offer. This is understandable, but it can actually lead to a salesperson losing a sale he otherwise would have won. Here's why: Prospects don’t care about every benefit your product has to offer. They only care about the aspects of your product that address their specific challenges. Everything else is irrelevant. Once you’ve addressed all of your prospect's challenges, stop the presentation.
It's easy to get so caught up in your presentation that you forget to pay attention to the most important person in the meeting – the prospect, of course. Prospects will often show that they have a question or comment during the course of your presentation. It could be in the form of a verbal, gestural or facial expression. When this happens, immediately stop and let them interrupt you. What the prospect has to say is always more important than what you have to say.
Being enthusiastic and knowledgeable about your product is great, but don't get so excited that you ramble on for extended periods of time during your presentation. If you do, prospects will quickly start to lose interest. And once a prospect has lost interest, it's tough to get his attention back. Keep your presentation as short as possible, focusing on the most critical aspects of your offering. A good rule of thumb: Present what you absolutely must present and then shut up.
Getting feedback from your prospect is the best sales presentation technique of all. After you make a key point about your product, ask the prospect for feedback with a question such as, “Does this make sense for your world?” or “Could you see this applying to you?” By doing this, you are prompting the prospect to either give his approval or explain why it doesn’t make sense. When you get the prospect’s approval, he is beginning to slowly close the sale for you. On the other hand, when he tells you that it doesn’t make sense, you create an opportunity to adjust your offering to increase the likelihood of closing the sale.
Now that you have your tips for a perfect sales presentation, apply them immediately and watch your closing ratios jump to the next level.
How do you improve you sales presentations? Please share below in the comments.
Marc Wayshak is the author of two books on sales and leadership, Game Plan Sellingand Breaking All Barriers, as well as a regular contributor for Entrepreneur Magazine and the Huffington Post Business section. As a sales strategist, Marc created the Game Plan Selling System to revolutionize the way salespeople, entrepreneurs and companies approach selling. Marc’s sales strategy is based upon his experiences as an All-American athlete, Ivy League graduate, startup entrepreneur and years of research, training and selling. He holds an MBA from the University of Oxford and a BA from Harvard University. Get his free eBook on 25 Tips to Crush Your Sales Goal at GamePlanSelling.com. (Twitter: @MarcWayshak)