Summer is here! It’s time to bring out your summer attire, take a vacation and reflect upon your achievements thus far this year. Look back at the past few months of your sales production . . . are you on target for all your sales goals for 2005? Are you making the sales from all your sales presentations?
You may be far ahead in some areas or behind in others. No matter what your sales production is today you certainly should have another look at what targets and goals you have developed in your game plan for 2005.
Are you using your strengths to their fullest potential? To improve your sales results, determine what has been working or not working. Then define where to concentrate your productive energies for the next two quarters in 2005 or the remainder of your compensation period.
The statistics say that 90% of the sale is made in the presentation. Many sales professionals need to be more innovative and prepare for every presentation. When planned and executed well, your presentation is the most effective method of winning more customers. The most important point of a presentation is that the objective of communication is not the transmission, but the reception. The whole preparation and content of presentation must therefore be geared to the customer with a clear objective that will specify actions or commitments you desire from the customer. Be creative and original to tailor the presentation to catch their attention and respect. Differentiate yourself from your competition.
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of careful preparation. Five minutes face to face with senior management could decide the acceptance or rejection of a proposal. With so much potentially at stake, the presenter must concentrate not only upon the facts being given, but also upon the style, pace, tone and tactics that should be used to best relate to the audience.
· Explain at the beginning of the presentation what will be covered and how long it will take so they know what to expect.
· Plan exactly how you wish to appear to them; dress appropriately for the audience.
· Rehearse your presentation. There is no substitute for practicing.
· Accentuate your gestures and vocal projection; always have great eye contact.
· A smooth presentation is the key for your customer to sense your sincerity and confidence.
· Don’t try to answer every question. They will respect you more if you get back to them with the correct answer.
There are three primary ways people learn:
Visually – people learn through reading, seeing and mental images.
Auditorily – people learn through listening and hearing.
Kinesthetically – people learn through touching and doing.
Try to find out how your customers prefer to learn. Pay attention during conversations, if they read a lot and use phrases like, “I see it,” and then they probably learn best visually, so use plenty of excellent visuals. If they use words like, “I haven’t heard that, but that sounds good to me,” they learn best auditorily, so keep the speaking dialog going at a pace and tone that they are comfortable with. If you see them holding your collateral and product they might learn best kinesthetically. Deliver your presentation primarily that way and create a well-rounded presentation that encompasses all the learning styles. For example, include visuals, have a good speaking voice, and bring samples of the product for every customer. But primarily tailor your presentation to their preferred learning style.
Although they will be trying very hard to concentrate on your presentation, your audience’s minds will inevitably stray. Your job is to do something, anything that captures their attention and makes a lasting impression upon them. You don’t necessarily have to use repeated phrases, but simply make the point again and again with different explanations and in different ways. Include the audience in the presentation; ask them questions to get them involved and keep them involved. Once your presentation is over, you should try to honestly evaluate your performance. Either alone, or with the help of someone involved, decide what were the least and most successful aspects of your presentation and concentrate on those areas for your next presentation. If there’s a problem with the preparation or execution, then work on it. Practice is only productive when you make a positive effort to improve your presentations. Be committed to self-improvement to further develop your career. Be coached, or coach yourself, to constantly improve your presentations. Analyzing your strengths and building upon them is an effective method of self-coaching.
“A presentation is an interactive conversation with the customer.” – Dan Collins
We believe that for any investment of sales improvement to generate a positive return, whether it is field training, classroom training, online learning, computer based, audiobooks, etc., predefined outcomes need to be articulated and then executed. So clearly define what you want to accomplish for the remainder of 2005, focusing on being more innovative and preparing for every presentation and of course, follow through and support your game plan for 2005 with sales training tools like our Sound Selling Audiobook(TM). Good luck goal setting, presenting and selling!
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