QUESTION: I spend an inordinate amount of time crafting what I believe is a compelling sales presentation. However, my success ratio leaves much to be desired. What else do I need to do to ensure a more positive outcome?
ANSWER: The successful sales presentation is much more than delivering a lot of information that you believe will be of benefit to the client. The following are five tips that should help ensure a more positive outcome:
Know your customer: To the best extent possible, try to find out everything you can about your client or their company. What do they do, who are their competitors, what are their specific needs, and how can what you offer address those needs and improve their bottom line?
Allow your client to know you as a person: Don’t be in a rush to make your pitch. You must first develop a rapport. Start with a little small talk. If you see a golf trophy on the credenza, inquire about the circumstances and, if you play too, let that be a conversation starter.
Your time is valuable: Always deal with the decision maker. If you are making your presentation to anyone other than the person who makes the final decision, you are wasting your time. If you are unable to arrange a meeting with the decision maker, walk away and put your efforts to work for someone who is willing to consider what you have to offer.
Address objections respectfully: You should expect and encourage a dialogue with your customer. In fact, if you are doing all the talking, how will you know if your message is getting through to the client? A seasoned salesperson knows how to counter objections and that the customer has a right to receive straightforward answers to their questions.
Ask for the sale: One of the biggest mistakes novices make is they fail to ask for the sale. In most instances, this is caused by the fear of rejection. It is a given that for every sale you make, you will probably receive two or three rejections. Treat rejections as a learning experience, and your success ratio will improve over time.
In closing you should know that sales are a “numbers game”. If it takes three calls to close one sale, and your goal is five sales each month, plan to make at least 15 sales calls.
Gray Poehler is a volunteer with SCORE Naples. Business counseling on this and other business matters is available, without charge, from the Naples Chapter of SCORE. Call (239) 430-0081 or visit https://naples.score.org/mentors .The SCORE business office is located at 900 Goodlette Road in Naples, Florida