Developing a Sales Presentation Strategy

Developing an effective sales presentation takes a great deal of time and energy.  Attention to detail helps set the stage for success In selling.  A salesperson cannot leave the sales presentation to the inspiration of the moment.  Hit-or-miss sales talks are not convincing and usually destroy buyer confidence.

A well-planned sales presentation is not memorised.  It is a logical and orderly outline that features the salesperson’s own thoughts from one step to the next.  The presentation is usually divided into six main parts .

1.        Preparing for the sales presentation. All of the planning that takes place prior to the actual sales presentation is referred to as the pre-approach.

The pre-approach involves learning as much as possible about the prospect, preparing a tentative sales story, scheduling the interview, and making the initial contact.

2.        Creating the sales presentation.  The product presentation is one of the most critical parts of the selling process.  If the salesperson is unable to discover the prospect’s buying needs and present the product in a the sales presentation. convincing manner, the sale may  be  lost.

3.        Conducting the sales demonstration.  An effective sales demonstration helps verify parts of the sales story.  Demonstrations are important because they provide the customer with a better understanding of product benefits.  The demonstration, like all other phases of the presentation, must be planned.

4.        Negotiating sales resistance. Buyer resistance is a very natural part of the selling-buying process.  An objection, however, does present a barrier to closing the sale.  For this reason, all salespeople should become skilful at overcoming resistance.

5.        Closing and confirming the sale. As the sales presentation progresses, there may be several opportunities to close the sale.  Some authorities in the field of sales training say closing should start the moment a need is established.  Salespeople must learn to spot closing clues.

6.        Servicing the sale. The importance of developing a long-term relationship with the prospect was noted earlier in this topic.  This rapport is often the outgrowth of postsale service.  Learning to service the sale is an important aspect of selling.

In some cases you can assess the value of something by determining how long it has existed.  A truly valuable idea or concept is timeless.

These “steps” are basic elements of almost every sale and frequently occur in the same sequence.  Of course, some sales are made without an objection, and some customers buy before the salesperson attempts to close.

Although these six selling “basics” are part of nearly every seminar, workshop, and course devoted to personal selling, the emphasis given each will vary greatly.  The need-satisfaction or consultative selling strategy gives major emphasis to determining the prospect’s needs, selecting the appropriate product, and servicing the sale.

The buyer action theory suggests that the salesperson must guide the prospect through the mental processes of attention, interest, desire, conviction, and action.  The buyer resolution theory states that the salesperson needs to help the prospect resolve five questions related to need, product, source, price, and timing.  The need satisfaction theory emphasises open communication and a systematic inquiry into customer needs and how best to satisfy them.

Understanding what mental processes occur in a prospect’s mind will strengthen the salesperson’s ability to empathise with and satisfy the prospect’s needs.  This understanding will also improve the salesperson’s ability to communicate with the prospect.

Understanding the prospect’s mental processes in making a buying decision also provides the salesperson with a path to follow in organising an effective presentation.  The effective presentation is not memorised; rather, it is a logical plan that usually is divided into six parts: preparation, presentation, demonstration, negotiating sales resistance, closing, and servicing the sale.

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