When making a sales presentation there are some mistakes that will often cost you the sale. Most of us do not understand how to truly give a great presentation. First of all, stop giving presentations. Why? Because you are giving away free information that they now have and haven’t earned any of it. Oh I know, you think you are showing them all about how great you are. Who cares!! I promise they don’t. Stop giving presentations and make recommendations instead.
1) Handing out your “proposal” before you present.
Well if you are going to hand out the presentation, why do you even need to be there? At best they can ‘follow along with you’ which means they will not be looking at you, at worst, you haven’t truly discussed things like the cost, and they are jumping ahead and looking at the back page with pricing and you begin to sound like Charlie Brown’s teacher, “waa waa waa waa”.
2) Not engaging all of the people you are presenting to in your meeting
Working with one person in the organization and then having to present to several is a scenario most of us will experience. If this happens you have no idea if they agree with the issues your contact had and even if they do agree, if you don’t get them talking right at the beginning, you are just “pitching” and not engaging them in the recommendations. Big mistake!
3) Talking to your projector screen and not to the prospects.
So often we are so proud of the presentation we put together that we watch it as closely as they do. First of all, there is nothing more frustrating for your prospect than feeling ‘pitched to’ and not listened to. Today especially the increase in online communications increases the instance of not being listened to when doing a sales presentation. Big trouble to gain the attention you need.
4) Not talking about money beforehand and having to justify the cost at the actual presentation.
It is truly important to have learned enough to ask the right questions to be able to discuss some round numbers and get an agreement before you present. I understand that this seems counter-intuitive. Most of us generally present features and benefits then answer any questions in the sales presentation. After all of that, they discuss the investment. Having a sales process will help you understand the three things that you need before you do any presentation;
- Understand the true needs as THEY see them! How is this deficit affecting them? What happens if they do nothing?
- Did you have a conversation about investment even in general terms?
- Do you KNOW, not guess but know what will happen after this presentation? ex- review and decide at the end of the meeting?
- Net Tuesday review with the board etc.
5) Not understanding what will happen after you present.
The common misunderstanding is that after you present your recommendations or proposal is that you have to then wait for their answer because they have to ‘think it over’. NO THEY DON’T. Learn what that process is before you present and if there needs to be the next step, you need to know that before and find out that day.
I know it seems as though you know how to present your product or service. I promise you, if you are doing a one-way presentation and it’s all about you and your organization, you are completely missing the boat.
We have all been taught that giving information is very important to your client. It is not. The discussion about each issue they had previously told you about, should be taken one by one and truly vet out the recommendation. Right then, see if they believe that your solution is one they want, will help them solve their issue and let them discuss how.