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Serious Common Mistakes in a Presentation

There is a serious common mistake made by salespeople during presentations that happens way too often. It involves starting right into the presentation without first establishing a few things. A presentation when done properly consists of at least 4 parts.

First, establish rapport and a reasonably high level of trust.

Second, spend the time to clearly identify the problems and needs of your prospect.

Third, give your presentation.

The last part is the close itself.

These parts are not established in stone somewhere, you must be flexible. Every time you ask a question, your presentation and steps may change just a little, even though the goal is always the same.

Let me explain. Your presentation is really an entire closing process. Once you have established some kind of common ground and trust, you begin to ask questions trying to uncover their ‘hot’ buttons. You always remain alert to the answers given to find out what they are really concerned about. These answers may change your presentation’s emphasis on certain solutions that your product or service may solve.

At every step of the way, you want to restate the problem or goal as you understand it to gain their approval. In fact, the best way to begin the formal part of your presentation is the restate the problem or goal that you and your prospect have mutually identified. This is critical to your success. You are trying to present a solution to a problem they have, not one you think they have.

Then you move from the general to the particular. Again, it’s important that you ask questions along the way to gain agreement. “How does this sound to you?” “Does this make sense to you so far?” You see, this is really just a trial close.

If you remember, a trial close is a series of questions designed to get agreement along the way so that when you actually ask for the order or begin writing the order, it makes total sense. They have agreed with you all along, if they agreed with everything, there is no reason that they shouldn’t move ahead.

Today, I just want you to start thinking of your presentations as a closing process, not just telling your prospects about yourself and your company. The whole process may take several visits, but the end result of any presentation process should be walking away with an order in your hands.

If you haven’t established a good rapport and a reasonably high level of trust and spent the time to clearly identify the problems and needs of your prospect before you launch into your presentation, you’ll be trying to close them on a solution that solves a problem they don’t have. You will have started your closing procedure way too soon.

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