What is a truly effective sales presentation? I would define it as one that generates a call to action that eventually leads to a sale. Is there an underlying theme, across all products and their respective target audiences, on how to deliver this presentation? The answer is a definitive yes. This article tells you how.
Let me bring you back in time to a famous Greek philosopher called Socrates (469-399BC). Socrates despite his foundational place in the history of ideas actually wrote nothing. Socrates himself radically and skeptically claimed to know nothing at all except that he knew nothing!
So what is the relevance of this in creating and delivering truly effective customer presentations? Knowing that he knew nothing, Socrates spent his life asking questions?
Say for example he was meeting a prospect, who did not actually understand why they might need a product or service that he was selling. He would ask them questions about what they did, how they did it, and what their needs and desires were. Through the answers, they gave; he would lead them to an understanding of why they would need what he had to offer.
The key here was that he did not at any stage tell them what he had, what he could do. The reason being, to use his original assertion, was that he did not actually know if the customer needed or wanted what it was that he had.
Know what your customer wants
So not knowing what customers really want, why do scores of sales people and business owners, deliver presentations about their abilities every day?
Even scarier, is the fact that these people probably spent days, weeks or even months, preparing what they believed to be truly effective presentations.
So what is the secret of creating this presentation then? The key is to be unique in what you present. To be unique, you must be completely relevant to the person, to whom the presentation is being made. You must address their issues, concerns and desires, as they see them.
Your presentation is in effect the presentation of a business case. This can only be prepared when you have all of the relevant answers to your questions. I recommend that you create a questionnaire that allows you to reiterate back to the prospect, in their words, their answers to the following questions.
- What is their key problem or burning desire (obviously this needs to be something you can help with)
- If this problem was solved, or their desire fulfilled – what would they now be enabled to do (Ensure they do not limit themselves in what they can do – keeping pushing and questioning until you get their ultimate goal.
- How do they put a value on this new capability?
- What happens if they don’t do it?
- When do they need to do this by – when will they have ownership?
- Why have they not been able to do this themselves, or with someone else’s help in the past?
Only when all of their answers to these questions have been presented, do you then go on to explain why you are best suited to help them with your product or service.
You will then outline an implementation plan, or set of actions that need to be completed, with a time frame, to get them to their ultimate goal.
Earn the right to present your offering
Remember, most business owners or senior managers know their own business better than you, so earn the right to propose your offerings, by finding out if there is something that you can truly do to help them, obtain their business imperatives.
That will be a truly effective presentation.
This article was written by Peter Lawless, founder of 3R Sales and Marketing – www.3r.ie. For previous articles like this, visit 3R’s Articles. Alternatively, subscribe to Success our free monthly Information Bulletin with sales and marketing articles.