In today’s modern selling world far too many processes the salesperson is encourage to follow are designed in a way that is “mean to suit everyone” in the vast majority of situations they may need to sell to. In other words, ideal presentations that have been put together as a joint venture between two department heads, probably the sales manager and the marketing manager. It goes without saying that both are highly skilled, possibly highly qualified and generally very skilled in managing people. However, they may have been well versed and “street smart” while they were “out there” on the road day and day out, they may have lost some of their “cutting-edge” skills by needing to be “desk-bound” due to the nature of their job – and here I am not trying to be cruel or act as a know-all – I’m just stating some real facts.
Having said that, I refer back to paragraph one where I stated that the may processes the salesperson is encouraged to follow are based on what could be best termed as “ideal” presentations between two well meaning managers. So let me start by telling you my thoughts on the ideal. The ideal is possibly workable until the seller gets confronted by the real. Even those sellers that took on an ideal job with an ideal company will quickly tell you the difference between the ideal and the real. In most cases it won’t take more than three to four weeks.
What my ideal outcome here is that you read the article, and the real outcome is that you learn that by the time you finish reading this article, you would have learned how to present your product or service in a real manner and not an ideal manner.
So Let’s Put Some Facts on the Table
Once you join the company you learn to present your product in a style that can only be described as a generic presentation. That presentation designed to suit every sales call. And it’s a presentation that does not deal specifically with the immediate challenges the prospect you are presenting is facing.
Now although these generic presentations usually cover general problems or situations your prospect on the other hand want you to help him deal with the specific issues and challenges. So just imagine if you were the prospect and had to sit through this stuff? You worked it out in one word, “boring.”
So let me give you some more “boring” stuff. You now spend too much time talking about your company, how big you are and how geared up you are to look after their problems after they become a customer. What? Did you say you are geared up to look after problems? Does that mean breakdowns? If not, why has that become a feature of your presentation?
Next you need to spend more time listing heaps of features and functions. So what, the prospect doesn’t care about your features and functions. They just want to know how your product or service will do for them – benefit them. And in my opinion, those same companies would be better off dispensing with the sales force and producing an interactive DVD and sending it to every prospective buyer and letting them choose what they want as if they were in a giant warehouse. Why? Because this kind of presentation shows a total lack of professionalism and preparation on the part of the sales person.
Prospects want to be made to feel that they are very important to the company that sells to them. Most want to feel special enough to get personalised service from a company that can help them through their challenges and grow with them over the years, and above all’ they need to be assured they’re on the right track – and they believe they are entitled to all of that – because they are paying for your time, expertise and after sales support.
There is only one thing the prospect wants to know. They want their WIIFM question answered in the professional manner they are entitled to. WIIFM stands for, “what’s in it for me?” in other words how am I going to benefit from investing in your product or service? Generic presentations that detail heaps of information without answering the WIIFM question only turn the prospects off. Moreover, if you sell with a generic presentation, you come across the same as every other mediocre individual who masquerades as a salesperson they have ever met and good professional sellers are never considered mediocre by either their buyers or their peers.
The salesperson who cares about the prospect, understands the WIIFM message and will ask questions and probes deeply to uncover the problems (challenges) the prospect faces as part of the qualifying process. Once this is done, the sellers is able to tailor the presentation to see if working together the prospect is able to achieve the outcome they want. Sometimes this can be done in one call, other times it can take a number of calls. But what should never be overlooked is that the salesperson should have acquired sufficient understanding to be able to provide a unique solution to each particular prospects wants and needs.
When this process is understood, much of the tension and anxiety many salespeople feel prior to presenting will vanish, and in its place you will have the confidence that what you are going to share with them will interest them and present them with result they are entitled to.
As you become more professional in the way you sell, you will also become more a effective as a salesperson, you’ll close more sales in less time, and be consistently able to provide a win-win scenario which will reward you financially and provide you with an abundance of satisfied clients – and those same satisfied clients will supply you with an abundant source of repeat business and referrals for years to come.
And Remember this – Excitement and Enthusiasm are Infectious
If your business doesn’t excite you at least fake it during sales calls. Your excitement and enthusiasm are infectious, but remember, on the other hand, the lack of your excitement and enthusiasm is also contagious.
This Article is by Peter Collins – In a sales career spanning more than 50 years, Peter Collins has focused on helping and bringing out the best in others – whether it involves training or mentoring salespeople, managers, business consulting to SME’s. Since the 1970’s Peter has built a reputation as a Nationally and Internationally Published author, and has 65 books to his credit, but he is mainly known for one book based on the Audio Tape series of the same name, Over 50 Ways of Closing the Sale. In his personal life, Peter has been sought after as an encourager and motivator that has given of his time and talents freely despite his busy schedule. Subsequently, he has assisted churches, pastors, community and charity groups, as well as individuals through his teaching, training, development and on-going mentoring.
Peter can be contacted through his website – profitmakersales.com