“For God’s sake, don’t say ‘yes’ until I’ve finished talking.”
-Daryl Zanuck, Film Producer
Selling is not about you talking, it’s about the prospect talking–even during your presentations.
Important things happen when the prospect speaks.
You’ll learn more about the prospect’s problem when she is talking. You can learn why the prospect is unhappy with her current vendor, if you let her talk about it. The prospect might place an order—but only when she is talking. The prospect can give you a referral–if she is the person talking.
Yet, the prospect only speaks when you shut up. Tweet This
Sellers almost always talk too much. Salespeople love to rush the prospect into a presentation so they can talk about their products and services. We take our presentations way too seriously.
Like eager puppies, we ask, “Can I give you a presentation? Can I, huh? Can I?”
We force 20-slide PowerPoint presentations on prospects when ten strong slides would do the job. And here’s the best part—the slides you use are often the same slides you used with the previous prospect.
There are techniques for learning exactly what the prospect needs, but you must take your time and use the following strategies.
When on a sales call, always allow the prospect to speak first. His “presentation” might be informal and unrehearsed, but that’s okay. Let the prospect tell you what is important to him. Then, link what’s important to what you’re selling.
When presenting, it’s important to attain participation and buy-in. Whatever happens, do not proceed with a presentation if you’re guessing what the prospect wants.
If you’ve been listening but are still guessing, it’s because the prospect doesn’t know what he wants or is not offering enough information.
Once you know exactly what the prospect wants, speak to those specific needs during your sales presentation.
An unqualified prospect is a good reason to postpone the presentation.
Get more presentation tips from this article.
Three ways to get the prospect involved during your presentation
- Help the prospect perceive you as an advocate, so she will relax
- Get the prospect to physically participate (nod her head, write something down, answer questions, smile)
- Get the prospect to talk about her problems as related to your product or service
Tell the prospect about product features (facts, such as “4 cubic feet of leg room”), but sell the benefits (“this software is a real time-saver; you’ll be so happy”).
There’s another reason for obtaining buy-in and participation in the conversation/presentation stage. It’s better to have a symbiotic, equitable relationship with the prospect. Deep involvement often evolves into a transaction.
You don’t want to be doing all the work in a sales relationship, jumping through hoops and always trying to win approval. These types of prospects/customers will burn a salesperson out.
Weave your sales pitch without being overbearing. Weaving is the art of subtly and slowly selling your product or service during a presentation or conversation.
Learn more about weaving and other presentations techniques in my audio program titled, How to Give Killer Presentations. You can order it as a DVD or as a download.