How to Prevent Crashing and Burning in a Sales Presentation

Posted by Dave Kurlan on Tue, Jul 19, 2011 @ 14:07 PM

crash and burnEarlier this week I posted the Top 5 Sales Presentation Tips.   What if you followed the 5 tips but failed to follow the important warning in my conclusion?

What if you already scheduled a presentation but you should have scheduled a discussion?  

What if you planned to talk capabilities and unique value proposition but you should have planned to ask questions to uncover their issues, problems and challenges?

What if you planned to present your company story/history but you should have planned to uncover their compelling reasons to buy?  What if you simply screwed up the entire meeting agenda?

Bad strategy but no worries.

When you are ready to present, say, "I'm excited about presenting our capabilities and unique value proposition and I would like to make it as relevant as possible.  Is it OK if I just ask a couple of questions to help me put things in context?" 

When the prospects approve, ask, "Can you share what caused you to begin seriously looking at [what you sell]?"

Where you go from there depends on the development and capabilities of your listening and questioning skills, along with how well you can sense exactly what you need to hear.  Here is an example of some sample dialog on sales listening and questioning to uncover compelling reasons to buy.

Companies are currently buying in such a way that it has them inviting salespeople in to present at the end of their buying process.  Salespeople take that bait, present, propose, chase them for months, and wonder why it's so difficult to get the business closed.  After all, if salespeople show up at the end of the process, shouldn't the sales process move more quickly?

The short answer is "No."

To accelerate the sales process, salespeople must create urgency; and there isn't any urgency after they have presented and proposed.  Urgency is created only after uncovering the prospects' compelling reasons to buy.  THEN, the sales process will move along more quickly.

So the increasingly difficult challenge for salespeople, even if they recognize it (and most don't), is this: When they are invited in to present capabilities, they must compare it to driving into a dead-end alley.  They must shift gears into reverse because if they push forward they will crash, burn, blow-up and die.  

Topics: Dave Kurlan, Sales Coaching, sales presentation, sales capabilities

Subscribe via Email

View All 2,000 Articles published by Dave

About Dave

Best-Selling Author, Keynote Speaker and Sales Thought Leader,  Dave Kurlan's Understanding the Sales Force Blog earned awards for the Top Sales & Marketing Blog for eleven consecutive years and of the more than 2,000 articles Dave has published, many of the articles have also earned awards.

Email Dave

View Dave Kurlan's LinkedIn profile View Dave Kurlan's profile


Receive new articles via email
 to the Blog on your Kindle 



Most Recent Articles


Top 50 Sales & Marketing Blogs 2021

Sales & Marketing Hall of Fame Inductee

Hall of Fame

 Hall of Fame


Top Blog Post

Expert Insights

Top 50 most innovative sales bloggers


Top Blog

Hubspot Top 25 Blogs


2021 Top20 Web Large_assessment_eval