Listen before the pitch. One mistake business owners make is talking too much about what their company does and what they have to offer, rather than asking the right questions, listening to a potential customer’s needs. Many prospects research you and your company anyway, so don’t waste precious minutes going on about your qualifications. With the internet they can learn much. There is nothing that is more annoying than when someone is pitching you, and it’s all about them, their products.
Open your presentation with a question something like, “I’m prepared to discuss our solution for you, however has anything changed since we last spoke?” or “Is there anything else I need to know before diving into a solution?” Before long, the customer will give you the key to how you can win the deal, if you will simply LISTEN. You just need to ask enough questions and then shut up. Most sales people talk 80% of the conversation while the client talks 20% actually this is reversed.
Have a positive genuine attitude. Many sales reps don’t realize how boring and mundane their presentations are. With too many facts, a flat monotone, stories that they really do not care about. Sales reps have been giving the same presentation for so long they just slip into autopilot, wearing their client out. What happens next they shut down. Todays market requires that your presentations be entertaining, and relative to their needs and interests to maintain their attention.
Don’t over use props. If brochures, handouts or props could sell a product or service on their own, companies would not need sales reps. Depending too much on visual aids give us a false sense of security, often comes across that the sales rep is insecure. Often we think it isn’t necessary to prepare thoroughly because our props will lead us right through the presentation. We let the visual aid become the star and virtually run presentation.
Be ready to take the next step. Not every presentation ends with a sale,thus it’s up to you to establish the next step in the process. One of the biggest mistakes is concluding a meeting with “we hope to talk again soon,” or a “I’ll check back with you.”
The business people we speak with are incredibly busy, and we realize that we need to determine next steps right then and there before life gets in the way. Set expectations, thus be ready to schedule a followup meeting or a follow-up phone call, which will show you’re serious about working together. You may not have the sale yet, however you at least have something set up so things can continue to move forward.