The one area where salespeople appear to be most comfortable and confident is when they are presenting. That is when they feel like they are in control and, unlike listening and asking questions, it is when they believe they can do a great job. The problem is that most salespeople do not understand how to present in the most effective ways. Here are some examples of what they do wrong and some easy to learn adjustments:
- They Have Talking Points - talking points are usually facts, features and benefits and presented as such, they tend to be yawners. Salespeople need to preceed each fact with a short example like, "Have you ever..." or, "Do you know anyone who ever..."
- They Progress Quickly and Easily - and as a result, all of their words just become white noise. Effective presenters use timing to pause, slow down, and place emotional emphasis to draw attention the most important words and phrases. Comedians do this very effectively.
- They present in a linear way - they start with point 1 and work their way to point 10, even though some of those points may not be important to this particular customer and some may be deal breakers. Instead, it's important to begin with the point that is most important to this customer/prospect and discuss that and only that until they are convinced that you can solve their problem.
- They present - presentations are typically one-way conversations whereas an effective presentation has more resemblance to a discussion. They must ask questions and get feedback and then discuss the feedback they get.
- They use PowerPoint - and they read the bullet points on the slides. PowerPoint locks them in to a set presentation and they present topics that the prospect/customer may not need/want to hear about. PowerPoint is great for a large audience but for sales presentations it is a liability, not an asset.