marketing+sales: The Three Biggest Sales Presentation Mistakes
I participated in a training program where I worked with six salespeople every day for a week. They role-played various situations, and we videoed and critiqued them. We were methodically working through the sales process, and it was time to make the sales presentation. The class was taught to organize the presentation on the basis of what they learned about the customer in the previous "find out what they want" role play.
One salesperson never got that message. He thought a sales presentation was like an oral exam in school, his opportunity to spill everything he knew about the product. What should have been a 20 minute presentation dragged on for 45 minutes. Even though it was a role play in front of the class, the person playing the customer began to fall asleep. The salesperson continued on, giving every bit of related information about the product. Eventually, I had to step in.
It may be a dramatic example of this mistake, but it occurs in smaller ways every day. The problem is greater than just "too much information." Salespeople who do this disrespect the customer, as they don't take the customer's interests and requirements into account in the presentation. As a result, customers are turned off and tuned out, and salespeople leave shaking their heads, unable to understand why the customer didn't buy all the incredible features of the sales presentation.
3. Failure to include the customer in the presentation.
This occurs when the salesperson thinks that the presentation is all about the product, service or proposal. The truth is, effective sales presentations are always about two things: the offer, and how it can impact the customer. When salespeople talk only about their offer and ignore the second half of the equation, they make a major mistake. Customers are far more interested in how the product being presented impacts them than they are in the details of the offer. The salesperson may be impressed with all the neat details and features, but that reflects his or her own values, not necessarily those of the customer.