Your cold calls and follow-up efforts have paid off, and you have made an appointment to visit a prospect in person and make a sales presentation.
How can you make sure it’s a success? Four elements determine whether or not a sale will be made:
- Rapport: putting yourself on the same side of the fence as the prospect
- Need: determining what factors will motivate the prospect to listen with the intent to purchase
- Importance: the weight the prospect assigns to a product, feature, benefit, price or time frame
- Confidence: your ability to project credibility, to remove doubt, and to gain the prospect’s belief that the risk of purchase will be less than the reward of ownership
Here is a closer look at the steps you can take to make your sales presentation a success.
Before the Presentation
Know your customer’s business.
Potential clients expect you to know their business, customers and competition as well as you know your own product or service. Study your customer’s industry. Know its problems and trends. Find out who the company’s biggest competitors are. Some research tools include the company’s annual report, brochures, catalogs, and newsletters; trade publications; chamber of commerce directories; and the internet.
Write out your sales presentation.
Making a sales presentation isn’t something you do on the fly. Always use a written presentation. The basic structure of any sales presentation includes five key points: Build rapport with your prospect, introduce the business topic, ask questions to better understand your prospect’s needs, summarize your key selling points, and close the sale. Think about the three major selling points of your product or service. Develop leading questions to probe your customer’s reactions and needs.
Make sure you are talking to the right person.
This seems elementary, but many salespeople neglect to do it. Then, at the last minute, the buyer wriggles off the hook by saying he or she needs a boss’s, spouse’s or partner’s approval. When you are setting the appointment, always ask “Are you the one I should be talking to, or are there others who will be making the buying decision?”