A big part of selling involves understanding all the ins and outs of your product or service.
And it seems that especially when you are meeting with a major client, you will go to great lengths to prepare a thorough sales presentation.
Maybe it even has quite a few bells and whistles (PowerPoints, nicely-printed handouts and so forth).
But are you wise enough to recognize when the sales presentation actually is getting in the way?
Years ago when I was working for a large corporation, a colleague and I had spent countless hours preparing a presentation for a major client. The day of the meeting came and the colleague and I did one more quick review of our game plan while in the lobby, clarifying who would handle which part of the presentation.
Guess what happened next?
We met with our contact and discovered that his day was not going smoothly. He seemed a bit frazzled, and I immediately assessed that our slick sales presentation was only going to further overload his day.
I had to adjust, for the sake of the sale.
Instead of doing the presentation we had meticulously prepared, we instead sat down and asked him questions about his business. You wouldn’t believe the look of relief on his face.
We needed to skip the sales presentation so we could connect with the customer.
Now before you think that my solution is to never prepare sales presentations, I wouldn’t say that at all. Remember that preparation is what fuels confidence. A thoroughly-prepared sales presentation actually equips you with the knowledge you need to be able to adjust if necessary.
The experience I had with the client I described is an example where we completely shifted gears and didn’t use the presentation at all.
There are other experiences, though, where you may use only part of the sales presentation. All of us can recall sales calls where we were originally told we would have a certain amount of time, only to then have that time shortened when we arrive.
Variables come up that you just can’t foresee until you’re on the call. You should have the ability to use all or none of the presentation — and still sell with excellence.
During the entire sales call that I described above, I never once took out my computer or glossy sales materials.
In the end, the way we were able to connect with the client resulted in significant business for us.
If you have a sales call that warrants skipping the sales presentation, then by all means — skip it!
Copyright 2012, Mark Hunter “The Sales Hunter.” Sales Motivation Blog.