Is your sales presentation worse than you realize?
If it is, you wouldn’t be alone. I work with building materials companies that want to grow their sales. When they hire me, one of the most important things I do is take a close look at how they present themselves to prospective customers.
I’ll ride along on actual sales calls. If they’re doing them virtually, I’ll tune in to those. I might even play the role of a prospect and have them try to sell their product to me.
Most of the sales presentations I see are ineffective. It’s almost always for these four reasons.
1. It’s Not About the Customer
Too often, the presentation is about the company instead of the customer.
Here’s the harsh truth: customers don’t care about your company. The builders, architects, contractors, dealers, and distributors you’re selling to aren’t wondering how long you’ve been in business or how big you are.
The thing they care about the most is how you can solve their problems or make their lives better. If it’s not immediately clear how you’ll do that, you’ve probably already lost them.
Your product is the focus of the sales presentation, but the customer’s needs still have to be front and center.
2. Inadequate Training
One of the reasons salespeople lean so heavily on company factoids like the number of factories you operate is that they don’t have the right kind of training.
To sell your product, your salespeople need to tell the right story. They won’t be able to do that unless you teach it to them.
You should hire sales staff who have great selling skills. The mistake is leaning too heavily on that. Even the brightest sales stars have to be equipped with the right messaging.
Thinking you can set your sales staff loose with a list of leads and the magic will happen is just a fantasy. Giving adequate preparation will always improve their conversion rates.
3. You Haven’t Updated Your Presentation
Is your material getting stale?
The auto industry invests a lot to make sure their salespeople know how to sell this year’s model. They get trained in how the customer’s needs change each year – because they do change that quickly.
They’re also taught how to present the benefits of their product over the competition, even as the competition is evolving.
When’s the last time you updated your sales presentation? If it wasn’t within the last year, it’s overdue.
4. Your Salespeople Are Out of Practice
Many salespeople spend most of their time managing and nurturing their current slate of customers. That’s important work, but it also means they’ll be out of practice when it’s time to call on new prospects.
Gaining new customers is harder than babysitting existing ones. It’s a skill that can get rusty.
Everyone on your sales team should call on someone new and do it on a regular basis. Otherwise, they’ll probably hit a lot of failures when it’s time to drum up new business.
These Easy Fixes Will Get You Big Results
These common problems aren’t hard to fix.
Gaining new customers is in your reach. All you need to do is equip your sales team with an effective presentation that gets updated on an annual basis.
If you want them to perform even better, give them the training they need and make sure they put their skills to use on a regular basis.
A sales presentation that sucks is a waste of everyone’s time – yours, your salesperson’s, and most importantly, your customers. If you put in the work to keep it fresh and customer-focused, you will see the difference on your next sales calls.
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