marketing+sales: The Three Biggest Sales Presentation Mistakes
A sales presentation can take a variety of forms. Demonstrating a product. Using a hardcopy brochure or a presentation on your laptop. Delivering and detailing a sample. Responding to a customer's request and providing a price. Delivering a proposal. Submitting a bid. All of these are sales presentations.
Without the sales presentation, there can be no sale. It is, then, the foundational step in the sales process. Everything that happens before is preparation for the presentation, and everything that happens afterward is the result of the presentation.
You would think, then, that every salesperson is well-trained in the science of making an effective sales presentation—but that isn't the case. Left to learn on their own, many salespeople make the same mistakes over and over again. Here are the three most common ones:
1. Lack of preparation.
Preparation is the first step towards an effective sales presentation. That doesn't necessarily mean memorizing the presentation, but it does mean organizing it, securing and checking your collateral (the sample, brochures, price quotes, etc. that form the basis of the sale), and practicing the presentation until you are comfortable and confident in your ability to deliver it.
Unfortunately, preparation is becoming less common in the routines of many salespeople. Too many salespeople don't respect customers' time, or overvalue their own ad-libbing abilities. This creates the sense that they don't need to prepare, that on the spur of the moment, they will come up with the most persuasive things to say, in the most effective manner.
That's too bad. Preparation is the first step toward a better sales presentation, and lack of preparation is too common in the world of sales.
2. Information purging.
Information purging occurs when salespeople think their job is only to relate everything they know about the product, service or proposal.