The Closer is a television show about a police detective who has an uncanny ability to close cases. The secret to her success is how she leads suspects into confessing in the interrogation room.
You can have the same success. Not at closing police cases but at closing deals. Instead of interrogating murder suspects, you’re going to give killer sales presentations. Luckily you don’t need a gun, just some basic sales presentation techniques.
Are you ready for this? The prospects you are meeting want to do business with someone they can count on. You need to be comfortable and confident during your sales presentation. You won’t close the deal if you’re not ready.
- Have all of your materials are ready. You should have ample copies of brochures, one-sheets or other handouts.
- If you’re going to use a PowerPoint or Keynote presentation from your computer, make sure you know how to start it up without fumbling.
- Bring your own projector. This guarantees you have all the equipment you need to show your presentation. Make sure you’re familiar with how it all works.
- If you do create a slideshow, rely on images — not words and numbers. Effective sales presentations move and inspire prospects. You can follow up with details.
- Research your prospect’s company, industry and market.
- Know your product. Your prospects expect you to be an expert on what you’re selling.
More important than having answers is asking the right questions. Even though you’ve done your research, you need to make sure you understand what the prospects want and need. There is nothing wrong with contacting prospects by phone or email before the presentation to understand their needs. They will appreciate that you want to make sure you aren’t wasting their time.
Ask open questions that get them talking about their businesses:
- Who are your customers?
- Why do they buy from you instead of your competition?
- Who are the customers you don’t sell to yet?
- What are the challenges you face in this market/industry?
- What are your goals?
- What do you expect this product to do?
- Where do you want help?
- Who will use the product?
This isn’t just about memorizing the words. You also need to respect your prospects’ time and keep your sales presentations on schedule. There are a number of resources out there to help you get more out of your practice time, but here are some quick techniques to try right away:
- Record yourself with audio or video. This will give you valuable insight into what needs work.
- Rehearse in front of others. Friends or family can give you feedback. Sometimes they will think of questions you haven’t thought of yet.
- Prepare sales presentations of different lengths. Be ready to take as much time as the situation calls for.
Refine your material
Some sales presentation techniques that will help you close the deal
- Focus on the benefits the prospects will receive by buying your product. An effective sales presentation does not list features that prospects cannot relate to their problems. A closer explains how the product is a solution to those problems.
- Use plain English. There’s a good chance that you work in an industry that uses language that your customers don’t recognize. Don’t use that jargon.
- Solicit feedback. Ask questions that require simple questions such as “Would this help?” or “Is this a problem in your business?” during the sales presentation. This will engage them and help keep them interested.
- Tell a story. Storytelling will keep prospects interested in your sales presentation. Tell them about a client who had similar problems so they can see how your product can help them.
Close the deal
You’re there to make a sale. Don’t expect it to just happen. Ask the prospects if they’re ready to make a purchase. If not, ask when will they be ready to purchase or what it will take to be ready. There’s a good chance that they have sales presentations from other vendors to consider. Find out what is their time frame. Lead them into the next step.
The end of your sales presentation isn’t the end of the process. Keep in touch with prospects so they remember what your product will do for them.
And after you close the deal, build a relationship with your customer. Communication will helps smooth over any problems and open up the possibility for more sales.
Now you’re the closer
Thanks to all the attention you pay to your sales presentation skills, you’re converting prospects into clients. This doesn’t mean there will be a television show about your sales. But you will become a star in your company.
(Image courtesy of sleepyneko under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 generic license.)