You’ve met with the prospect, conducted a thorough needs analysis and contracted for a follow-up meeting. Now how do you blow them away with your presentation? A salesperson’s success in crafting a compelling presentation depends on their ability to understand the prospect’s business so well that he can identify and analyze its problems and come up with a solution. In order to provide value, your presentation must convey the solution in terms that the prospect understands and accepts.
A well-executed client needs analysis makes a powerful sales presentation possible. During the CNA you set the stage by demonstrating effective listening. The value of the process is not only the information you collected, but the trust you gained. You modeled the behavior you wish to experience when it’s your turn to speak. Still you want to maintain a dialogue, and engage the prospect with questions and confirmations. If a question arises that you will cover in your presentation, its okay to say, “Good thought, I will be addressing that in a few moments.”
Deliver in person. Make sure all decision-makers are present; do not leave it for others to tell your story. This is non-negotiable. Don’t give them a copy until you’re finished, you want them paying attention to you—not flipping to the last page. You shouldn’t read it either, maintain eye contact with the prospect and speak from the heart.
Remain customer-focused. Identify their biggest challenge—which will be either an opportunity or a problem. Focus on this when you write your presentation. Stay narrow; don’t try to solve all their problems—just the one that has the biggest upside for their business. Share the story. Create a story line; have a beginning, middle and end. The beginning is your understanding of their problem, the middle is how your plan provides the solution and the end is the client winning.
Start with the summary. Relate everything you learned about the prospect’s wants and needs. Explain how your product or service can help satisfy those needs. Demonstrate the additional research you conducted when you went back to your office. Communicate a “we’re all in this together” mentality.
Clarify and confirm. Feed back the objectives they mentioned during the needs discovery. Engage them and gain commitment by stating “I know you place a great deal of importance on customer service…is that correct?”
Discuss outcomes and benefits. People buy products for what they can do, not for what they are. Everyone is looking for value. Help your prospects understand the value of doing business with you by identifying the expected outcomes your solution will produce. Emotionalize the benefit by tapping into how the prospect will personally benefit or ask “What will be the consequences to you if we don’t move forward with this plan?” Often the risk is greater in not taking action.
Provide a timeline and expectations. Include how long it will take to get started, taking them step-by-step through the process. If this involves another department in your office, make sure you have checked their schedule to ensure accuracy. “We could have a production team out next Wednesday to discuss creative, after that it takes about two weeks to turn a spot around.”
Ask for the sale. As you proceed through the process, you have been gaining commitment, at each step through your question-asking. Now be assertive in asking for the sale. Summarize your most compelling reasons as to why they should buy from you and why they should buy now. Then ask “When can we get started?”
You have the order. The sale begins now; it doesn’t end. Convey your success is directly linked to their success and you’re not in this for the quick sale, but a long-term partnership. You have an opportunity with each order to prove your value and develop the client’s trust, by exceeding their expectations.
Theresa Merrill is Director of Sales for Anovick Associates Consulting Firm.
Theresa brings a diverse background in sales and marketing having over 20 years of experience in New York, Boston and Atlanta working for major media outlets: Katz, CBS, Tribune and Cablevision.
A "Hunter" at heart, Theresa understands that selling is all about the ability to open doors and the development of new business. A skilled negotiator, she has trained executives and teams in getting to high-level decision makers and gaining commitment. "Never take no for an answer" is the motto she lives by.
She draws on a lifelong passion for writing and public speaking, with a degree in Communications, to help clients communicate succinctly and effectively.
Developing Potential, Producing Results