Published On: Fri, Apr 8th, 2011

The importance of your sales presentation

By: Gerald Sherman

Presenting the product/service to the client in a professional manner and using the appropriate presentation technique can be extremely important to the outcome of the sale.

Some general rules hold for any type of sales presentation:

·        A good presentation should be simply stated in words the client can understand.

·        Appeals should be both logical and emotional.

·        A confident and friendly atmosphere should be established at the outset.

·        Strategy should be different for selling to a single client or to a buying center, which is a group of individuals and organizations that have a stake and influence in the final buying decision, or a committee of buyers.

·        Every presentation should be brought to a close — by making the decision easy for the client.

Gerald Sherman

There are four different presentation methods that can be put into practice, namely the memorized, priority, in-depth, and consultative presentations. Each presentation method is geared toward a different strategy, depending upon the service/product’s nature, the buyer’s needs and character, and the seller’s comfort level.

Let’s look over each of these presentation methods, from the simplest to the most professional, and how to best utilize them.

The Memorized Presentation

One way to organize the presentation is to memorize the key selling points of the merchandise, also known as the memorized or canned presentation. .This method is particularly useful to new and inexperienced salespeople who are still developing a personal selling method. It helps you present the complete story to the client without missing the key points.

The Priority Presentation

Another form of presentation is the priority or specific-needs approach. Within this method, the salesperson verbally sketches a need which is of specific interest to the potential client. Then the salesperson suggests how the purchase will benefit the client.

The In-Depth Presentation

For a major sales transaction, this presentation is often the most productive. The salesperson utilizes surveys, PowerPoint presentations, charts, and other forms of visual presentation to inform the client about the research and development that went into the product/service. This type of presentation can also include demographics, marketing analyses, consumer characteristics studies and psychographics. It will show how the product/service is directly connected to the client’s target market.  It allows for a more polished presentation and often gets excellent results.

The Consultative Presentation

It takes a well-versed sales professional to take on this role successfully. Within the consultative sales presentation framework, the salesperson acts as an advisor and possesses the knowledge and ability to customize the presentation in order to address and solve the specific needs and wants of the customer. This type of presentation and role requires the seller to be knowledgeable of the client’s business products/services and target market. It requires a great deal of time spent on research and doesn’t necessarily result in an immediate sale.

Here, the seller is not viewed as a hot-shot who wants to make a sale but rather as one who will ride out a problem even if it means not getting the sale at that time. It’s the act of giving advice without looking for immediate gains.  .

In this method, the salesperson is on the same side of the fence as the buyer, and the presentation deals with providing opportunities for the buyer. The seller takes on a partnership role and is involved in building a relationship and has serious interests in helping the client expand her/his business.

A word of caution: this type of selling is not for every client; clients who are only interested in short-term gains or price concessions are not good candidates since they are only interested in what they can get today and care less about tomorrow. It is for the client and seller who already are in the business relationship stage.

Excerpts from the book, Woman Power in Textile & Apparel Sales, Jerry Sherman and Eric Hertz, Fairchild Publications, New York, N.Y., Division of Conde Nast, N.Y.

 

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