Feeling Comfy About Your Sales Presentation?
by Jeff Andrews, VP Client Services
Introductions have been made, business cards have been passed, drinks offered…all of the first-time-meeting rituals have passed. You even brought the right dongle to connect with the prospect’s monitor. Your sales presentation is going smoothly, no glitches and right on schedule. You and your team are starting to feel good about the meeting and your opportunity with this prospect.
But wait, there’s no checkered flag just yet.
Be in the ‘No’: You have a great organization and every confidence that your team is a perfect fit for this prospect. Okay, then why do you feel the meeting going south? Any chance that you failed to think about what objections the prospect might have to your capabilities or offerings? Be ready for the ‘No’ and the ‘Not sure’ responses by carefully thinking through what the prospect might see as obstacles to a partnership and have clear, concise and well-rehearsed answers. Be prepared, be confident and you’ll go a long way in winning the prospect over even if you can’t address his or her every need.
Close the Deal: You’ve listened to the prospect and you know their pain points and their goals. You’ve made a strong case that your organization does indeed align with their needs. Most of all, you’ve had an enjoyable hour together where personalities clicked and there was lively banter. Any harm in asking for the business? Not at all. At the very least, get clarity from the prospect on their next steps and when they expect to make a decision.
You’re Still Not Finished: Oh no, not even close. First, be sure to live up to every promise made in your meeting. Did the prospect want to know more about a certain claim or point in your presentation? Follow up…and in a timely manner. Did they want references? Follow up. Did you promise a pricing outline? Follow up. Your sales presentation or pitch is only a minor part of the selling process. Now you must follow up, tenaciously. Keep in touch until you get a firm yes or a firm no.
If You Didn’t Win It: Statistics show that less than one in ten sales pitches have a positive outcome. Congrats to you if this meeting was that one. If not, keep your chin up and use this round as a learning experience. What went right? What went wrong? Be bold enough to ask the prospect why they chose to go another direction. Any feedback from the prospect and your team will lead you into a better swing the next time you step into the batter’s box.
Now you’re ready – go forth and conquer your next sales presentation!