The last thing your customer wants from you is a presentation. I don’t care if it is the first time you’re meeting with a prospect or the 10th time you’re meeting with a customer. What customers want is to know how you are going to help them. The last thing anyone wants to sit in is a presentation hearing somebody drone on and on.
Honestly, I’d prefer to sit through a reading of 12th century literature than have to sit through a 60-slide PowerPoint presentation extolling the features of the newest upgrade that has been deemed the finest product ever made. Finest product ever made until next week’s new upgrade – ha!
Your customers want their problems solved, so that means having a conversation. Customers will always believe their situation is unique and cannot be resolved by an out-of-the-box solution. There’s a reason why customers cancel meetings. Because they don’t see a need to meet, and that’s because they don’t see anything of value.
The value you bring is in the questions you ask and the conversations you create. That’s the value your customer wants and the value that your prospect will quickly warm up to. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to know what you’re selling. I think you actually need to know even more about what you’re selling, because any number of topics could arise in your conversations.
I like to use the line, “the best presentation ever made is the presentation never given.” Think about that for a second and what it means. It means that you know your stuff so well that you can give it without any aids. It means that you can share the content in so many different ways and certainly without the need to have things flow in a sequential manner.
Prospects always believe they have options. They believe what you are offering is no different than what someone else is offering. And yes, this is true until you demonstrate your ability to engage them. No presentation can ever replace what you can personally bring to a sales call, regardless of where you’re at in the process.
Your objective going into every sales call is to share any piece of information you feel might need to be shared in bite-size pieces. Don’t get caught up in drawn out explanations. Let your customer guide you. You’ll do that best by asking questions and engaging them. When you can allow the conversation to free flow, and yet still get your critical points answered, it will leave the customer thinking one thing: you’re brilliant and you have credibility. That is what you want!
The formal presentation is a crutch used by lazy salespeople who don’t know their product or service well enough. Customers are quick to catch on. They can smell “presentation breathe” quickly. It takes time to be able to know what you sell backwards and forwards and not need a presentation. The payout once you do know your product or service is not needing a presentation ever again. That’s huge!
Don’t fall in the lazy sales trap, though. The lazy sales trap is one the experienced salesperson falls into because they’re so good today that they stop investing time to ensure they’re good tomorrow. They fail to stay up on product changes, upgrades, etc. Slowly over time, they lose their edge. Being so good and confident that you don’t need to rely on a sales presentation requires continuous improvement.
Your job this week and in the months to come is to become so knowledgeable about the product(s) and features you offer and how they benefit the customer that you can talk about it any time, any place, with anyone. When you’re always thinking at this level, you will become far more confident. Moreover, your ability to listen and ask better questions will skyrocket.
In today’s selling environment, I do not believe you have an option. If you choose to always deliver and rely on a canned presentation, you’ll have to choose a new profession. Instead, focus on the conversation. That is how and where you’ll be able to choose from more options as you move up in your sales career.
Copyright 2019, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter” Sales Motivation Blog. Mark Hunter is the author of High-Profit Prospecting: Powerful Strategies to Find the Best Leads and Drive Breakthrough Sales Result