The Rules of Engagement
Sales presentations can be quite stressful, especially for those who have a “me, me, me” mentality. Throw in the residual effects of a recession and increased pressure from your boss to generate additional revenue, and the entire process becomes even more overwhelming. There’s no need to panic just yet—a simple evaluation and possible retooling of your own selling strategies only may be required. Before setting up your next meeting or calling a prospective client, try some of these techniques to create an effective presentation that positively impacts the bottom line.
1. ESTABLISH EMPATHY
Goal: l Address your customers’ problem areas.
As a salesperson, your primary duty is to understand your customers and speak directly to their core concerns. In other words, do your homework. According to Rosalie Marcus, The Promo Biz Coach (www.promobizcoach.com), the Internet is a great place to start.
“Before you call on a company, you can look and see if they have any trade shows coming up or if they’re hiring—that’s a good indication they can be a [promising] prospect for buying promotional products because they’re a growth industry,” she instructed. “If they’re launching a new product, that’s another great indication that they can be a good prospect for you.”
Proper research and assessment can lead to thought-provoking, targeted questions. Marcus offered the following examples:
• What are you doing to reward your best employees?
• Do you have a retirement program in place when people leave the company?
• How are you recruiting new hires?
• What are you doing to drive traffic to your trade show booth?
Also, study the industry as much as the player. For instance, if you’re selling to the promotional side, gear questions toward the company you’re calling on and grasp the concept of campaign goals versus product-pushing. “If you’re calling on a college, you’re going to be asking different questions than if you’re calling on a hospital,” Marcus noted.