There are three key questions that will help you boost your presentation skills.
If you can’t answer those questions constantly, as you are presenting, you are probably not doing a good job.
Allow me to illustrate.
Recently, a sales rep from a partner company and I were on a sales call. As the call got started, he just started droning on and on about how their products were great, their company was great, they were the best solution for the client and all. On and on for 15 minutes. Neither I nor the client could get a word in edgewise.
It was boring as heck, it was mind numbing. We also lost the sale. Why? Allow me to illustrate the presentation from the point of view of the prospect. His thought are in bold.
As the call got started, he just started droning on and on about how their products were great (uh huh, so what?), their company was great (really, who cares? can you solve my problem?), they were the best solution for the client ( ok… you have not asked me what my problem is, but you claim your solution is the best…. how so? ) and all.
Unfortunately, this is what most corporate presentations do. They drone and drone about trivialities, banalities and empty words (e.g. “world class cost effective solutions”…what the hell does that mean anyways? Beats me.).
I used to be like that. I hated it. My audience (lord knows!) hated it. More importantly, my company’s bottom line hated it to pieces.
Things are different now. I found a way to be more relevant – and boost my sales.
I no longer present. I have conversations. I skip the usual introduction. I jump right to the meat and my first question always is “Please tell me about your business….and what challenges or opportunities do you have that you think we can help you with”.
Then I shut up….for a few minutes.
Then I ask a whole bunch of questions, as part of a conversation rather than an interrogation, and keep going. I only talk about my solutions once I know about their problem and once I am clear that my solution will help.
And I never talk about my products using vague generalities. I always tell them how I think my products can help them, what results will they see, how they will accomplish those results…….based on all the information that they have given me.
During most of my so called presentations, the talking is divided 50% – 50%. It’s really a conversation. The client is always engaged… from the beginning.
By using this method, I always answer the three key questions:
Who Cares? So, What? How So?
The results have been encouraging. Prospects are telling me that they think I really understand their situation and that we can help. In my industry there is very little product differentiation and price is almost always what makes and breaks the deal. But prospects are turning into clients.
Oh, and I don’t sell the cheapest product around. Oh no siree. I cannot deliver the quality I do using Walmart’s rock bottom price approach. I let me competitors do that. I focus on providing good solutions that will almost guarantee them success.
Although price does come up (and it should, these are sophisticated business owners), I seldom lose a sale on price. And when I do, more often than not, it’s a sale I probably did not want.
Posted by Marco, a small business owner and guest writer.His firm, Commercial Capital LLC, provides business financing products such as factoring,purchase order financing, medical factoring, freight bill factoring, invoice factoring to small business owners.