The Art of Selling – The Presentation

So you’ve done your homework and studied your customer. You know their industry, business, and have a plan for the call. This brings you to the meat of the matter. Once you have judged that the timing is right and you’ve given the client enough background information, it’s the moment to move into action. You have to make the presentation. Whether it’s selling a line of shoes, tires, or insurance, you will be putting your proverbial cards on the table. It’s the show and tell portion of the sale.

Over a period of 25 years, I saw an average of 300 customers a year when I was a sales consultant for the Yellow Pages. That’s 7500 sales calls and therefore 7500 sales presentations. You might assume that I should have learned something over that time period. I did and I will share some of that wisdom with you right now. Here are some ideas that might aid you on your next call as you present your program.

  • Have a back-up plan in case the first one isn’t well received.
  • Look at the customer making eye contact as you tell your story.
  • If there are pictures or objects to show, ask where they can be placed rather than plop them on their desk.
  • Have positive energy without being overbearing.
  • Know when to stop talking to allow the customer to absorb and consider what’s been displayed.
  • Look for buying signals rather than following a set agenda and plowing forward.
  • Answer questions as they arise, rather than put them off to later.
  • If something goes wrong or doesn’t work as planned, move on without making too many excuses.
  • Pace yourself and don’t speak too quickly or drag things on. Get to the point when needed.
  • Don’t end with, “What do you think?” Instead, make a strong sales statement.

The last one refers to the fact that many sales people don’t know how to conclude a presentation. They revert to a question that asks or begs for the customer to make a decision. Conversely, you need to seize control and maintain the attitude that the customer will buy whatever you’re selling. You should end with statements that assume the sale is made.

You might try: “You must agree this is just perfect for your company” or “You can see we’ve thought of everything you could need. How many do you want to order?”

This also assumes that you’ve covered all the facts and answered all the questions that were brought up during the presentation. This is the time to secure the sale and dazzle your audience. Be forceful and confident without being a bragger. You can still be proud of your product but not in a smug manner. It’s your sales call to make or break, so do your best and treat each presentation as special event.

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