Winning Presentations

by RJ on July 6, 2012

Winning Presentations


An old sea captain was quizzing a young naval officer. What steps would you take if a sudden storm cam up on the starboard (right)? The naval student said, I’d throw out an anchor sir. The sea captain asked, what would you do if another storm came sprang up aft? The student replied I’d throw out another anchor sir. The captain asked again, what would you do if a third storm sprang up on the port side (left)? The student replied, I’d throw out another anchor. Just a minute son, said the captain, where in the world are you getting all these anchors? The student replied, from the same place you’re getting all these storms.


Are you just throwing out anchors or do you have the answers? Have you prepared answers to the most frequently asked questions and objections? Do you know your product or service inside and out? Do you know your customer’s business, products, services and needs?


The most important part of selling is not prospecting, time and territory management, qualifying or even closing, it’s the presentation. If you don’t have a great presentation, all the prospecting in the world is not going to help you. You won’t get to the close. If you don’t know what to say to a prospect then you should not be there. Remember, first impressions on the first in person sales call or telephone call can dictate the eventual outcome of the sale. If you mess up on the first call, it could be all over.


To have a great canned presentation, that’s right canned, you must be prepared. Don’t think you can wing it every time, you must be prepared. Some salespeople think that a prospect has been waiting all day just to see them. The top salespeople know exactly what they are going to say every time. They have practiced their sales presentation over and over so that they can swing right into their presentation on queue. They have also practiced several versions designed for different levels of management, even for administrators.


Do you know your product or service? It’s essential that you that you know everything about your product or service that you are selling. Take the time to learn about every feature and benefit that your product or service offers. Ask your technical people to help you learn about every aspect of your products. Learn about your competitors. Learn why your present customers bought your product and why they are using your products. Ask your customers for help and spend some time in their offices and plants.  This will give you a great in depth wisdom of how your products benefit your customers and you can help other prospects to get the same results.


People need a reason to buy, that means selling benefits. You need to make a list of all the benefits of your products and understand what they mean to your prospect. Not just facts and figures. This is the most important reason why you need to visit your customers who have your products and understand why they bought your product and what benefits they are deriving from them. This can be passed on to your prospects with a solid understanding of how they can derive the same benefits as some of their peers or sometimes competitors.  Ask your customers for reference letters detailing their use of your product and the benefits that they are getting from them today. This needs to be part of your notebook of brochures, benefits, features, testimonial letters and answers to frequently asked objections and questions. Keep adding to this notebook and memorize the content by reading the notebook frequently.


Once you have this information at your fingertips consider where you and your company have been successful. What kinds of customers have bought your product in the past? Do you know the market where you can be successful? Today with the power of the internet you can search out similar prospects and narrow your rate of sales success and closing more sales than anyone else in your company. Your testimonials will mean more to similar companies. Maybe your customers would allow you to take prospects to see their operation which would likely give you the edge in a making a sale.


Above all you need enthusiasm in everything you do especially in the presentation. It’s important to ask prepared questions of a prospect. Try to draw them into telling you what there problems are and what they need. Don’t just talk for the sake of hearing yourself talk. You must listen to the prospect’s needs and wants in order to help them buy your product. Today with the power of the internet, prospects expect that you understand their business before you come to make the first call or visit. It’s easy to do and there is no excuse for not doing your job. Don’t ask stupid questions like what does your company do?


The most successful salespeople in the world don’t sell at all; they help their prospects buy a solution to their problems. Sometimes you need to persuade your prospect to take action. Business firms are like people, they don’t buy products; they buy security, status, speed, comfort, convenience and money saving potential. Every time you present you are trying to close. Watch for buying signals. Create buying signals, Ask questions.


One of the major reasons salespeople don’t like to cold call either in person or on the telephone is they don’t have a canned presentation. Once you have a canned presentation and understand objections you can develop a method of sounding professional and have the ability to change the presentation to fit the situation. Now it does not sound canned but prepared for the occasion. Good luck out there.

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