While many salespeople put forth great effort into mastering the art of presenting, a few key myths can hold people back from closing the sale. Below I’ve identified three common misconceptions about sales presentations and how to avoid them in order to close more business.
1. The goal of a sales call is to make a presentation.
This myth is a fundamental flaw in many salespeople’s process. It’s easy to see why; presentations are such a key part of the selling cycle, that it feels natural they should be the focus of our attention. While seemingly logical, salespeople need to remember that the goal of a sales call is to make a sale, not a presentation. Some sales calls may not require a presentation, and giving one could cause damage to your chances of closing the deal. A more successful tactic is to only give presentations for the “kill.”
Instead of focusing on laying the groundwork for a presentation, think of the entire sales process as an opportunity to interview and qualify your client. We have a Sandler Rule, “The best presentation you will ever give, the prospect will never see.” That means if you do your job as a salesperson, the prospect may buy before you have a chance to present.
2. Presentations are repeatable, and each target should receive the same approach.
Practice makes perfect, right? While true, familiarity also breeds complacency. As soon as you get complacent and begin “going through the motions” when presenting to your clients, you’ll start to lose sales. It’s very important that you personalize your approach to each client or prospect. The same way you may change the sales language you utilize, clothes you wear to a meeting, or solution you recommend, you should change the style in which you present. Always mirror your client or prospect. If you customize your key points to fit each client’s needs, you’ll make great progress towards a conversion and ultimately improve your relationship with your clients. If you have done appropriate discovery, you should only present solutions to pains you have uncovered, that fit the prospect’s budget and only give presentations consistent with the prospect’s decision-making process.
Most importantly, you don’t have to finish your presentation! If the sale is already won or lost, stop selling or presenting and close the sale or close the file.
3. Presentations are unnecessary if you know each other well.
Just because you’re familiar with your prospect or they are familiar with you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do discovery or proceed with your presentation of your solutions. Utilize questioning strategies that you would implement with someone you’ve never met. Making assumptions about someone’s pains or challenges can cost you another meeting or even the sale, so treat every opportunity like a new one. The prospect needs to know that you are taking this opportunity seriously and that you understand their situation. Additionally, even though they may know or trust you, they may still need to understand the details of the solution.
People buy from those that they like, but don’t let that stop you from running an effective and efficient sales call. Relevant presentations are a great way to demonstrate value to consumers and allow them to get to know you and your business.
Most salespeople understand the importance of sales presentations, but if you wait until after the presentation to qualify your prospect, you put too much pressure on yourself and the buyer. No matter how hard you work on perfecting your pitch, if you go into it with misconceptions about the prospects pain, budget, and decision-making process, you’ll already be behind the eight ball. By understanding that presentations have their place after qualification, you’ll be on a path to success in no time.