I listen to a lot of sales presentations during the week. Companies send me recorded calls of a variety of sales presentations, from many different industries, some lasting as short as seven minutes, to others of complete power point demonstrations lasting forty-eight minutes or longer.
My job is to analyze them, critique them, and find missed opportunities and ways to make them more effective. Having the full demo on a recording makes this process precise; I analyze every pause and intonation of the prospect, looking for cues to their receptivity, interest & buying motives, and possible objections.
As I listen to these recordings, what I’m concentrating on most is the sales rep’s performance. It is the sales rep’s competence in building relevant rapport, in hearing what their prospect is saying – or not saying – and their ability to guide the prospect through to a successful close that will determine not only the sales rep’s success, but the company’s as well.
So after years of listening and critiquing thousands of calls, here are what I believe to be the five keys to winning presentations. As you read these, see how many of these you actually use when you are presenting your product or service (if you are a sales rep), or, if you are a manager or business owner, see how many of these keys you hear your sales team using. I guarantee that the closer you can get your team to begin using these keys, the more sales they will make and the more profitable your company will become.
Key #1: Requalify at the beginning of the presentation. One of the biggest mistakes all sales reps make is assuming that just because someone has agreed to view a presentation that this means they are qualified. This assumption becomes even more treacherous when a lead is transferred or served up by an appointment setter. In this case, the closer assumes that the ‘fronter’ did his/her job and that the prospect is qualified. Sadly, this is rarely the case…
The first key to a winning presentation is to requalify the prospect before the pitch is delivered. Here are a couple of sentences you can use to transition into the requalification:
“__________, before we begin, can you refresh my memory and tell me what you’re hoping to accomplish using our new lead generation system?”
“So I can tailor this demo to the points that are most important to you, let me just start by asking you a few quick questions…”
Then ask some of the basic qualification questions covering areas of need, confirming decision making status, decision process, etc.
Getting clear on this in the beginning not only saves you a lot of time at the end, but it also helps to reveal buying motives you should be speaking to.
If you’d like to know what the other four keys are, then join me on Wednesday, January 18th at 1 PM Eastern, 10 AM Pacific for my free webinar, "Five Keys to Winning Sales Presentations."
Mike Brooks is founder and principle of Mr. Inside Sales, a North Carolina-based inside sales consulting and training firm, and author of the award-winning books on inside sales: “The Real Secrets of the Top 20%,” and his newest book, “The Ultimate Book of Phone Scripts.”
Mike has been voted one of the most Influential Inside Sales Professionals by The American Association of Inside Sales Professionals. Mike is hired by business owners to implement proven sales processes that help them immediately scale and grow multi-million dollar inside sales teams. For more information, you can visit his website, www.MrInsideSales.com