By Keith Rosen, MCC
The Executive Sales Coach TM
We’ve all been there. Whether it’s over the phone, online, or face to face; whether in a business setting or on the golf course, the time comes to deliver your value proposition to the client. Here comes the pitch.
Take a moment and think about how a typical conversation or meeting flows with a prospect. What does your presentation consist of? What do you talk about?
The basics: You may begin by giving some background on your company and introducing yourself. You will likely talk about what your product or service is, or what it does and how it could benefit the customer. And if you have some time, you might even share some technical data with them through the use of a PowerPoint presentation or other marketing materials.
With all of these various topics to address, only one should stand out as your primary goal. Here are the most common core objectives I hear:
- To educate the prospect on who we are, our industry, and the product that we sell.
- To get the sale.
- To create a rapport and build trust.
- To develop my competitive edge and a reason for becoming my prospects’ preferred vendor.
- To give each prospect a good reason for buying from me.
While these objectives are critical to achieve a well organized sales effort, none of these resemble the primary objective.
To illustrate this point, I will ask a few questions. Based on the five objectives that I listed and on your presentation approach, you should be able to answer these nine questions concerning your prospects:
- What are their core objectives?
- What are their immediate needs?
- Who is responsible for making this purchasing decision?
- What information do they want to hear from you?
- What are their expectations of the meeting/conversation with you?
- What is their biggest concern that would prevent a sale?
- How do they make a purchasing decision? What’s their process?
- What criteria do they need to evaluate in order to make a decision?
- Are they ”sold” on using you, your company, and your product?
Unless you did a stellar job pre-qualifying them during your initial contact — you can use my permission-based prospecting system that I discuss in my book on cold calling — the chance of you being able to accurately answer these questions simply by delivering your content-rich presentation is pretty slim.
That’s why the primary goal of a presentation is different from what you might have imagined. The core objective of a presentation is to uncover the information you need — through questions — in order to determine if a fit exists. From there you can refine your approach and customize your solutions to reflect the unique and specific needs of each prospect, zeroing in on what is most important to them and what they want to hear. As a result of your reformed purpose, the prospect is now in the best position to make an educated decision regarding the progress of your pitch and of the sale.
The information that a prospect wants to hear is not necessarily dependant upon the questions they ask but more so on your questions. The only questions that you can ensure will be addressed are the ones that you ask.
If you ask better questions from the beginning, the flow and direction of your meetings will change. More specifically, the information that you hear and present will be appropriately modified to the needs and wishes of the prospect. In this way too you will be able to more efficiently identify the hopeless prospects and move on quickly.
About Keith Rosen, MCC — The Executive Sales Coach
Keith Rosen is the executive sales coach that top corporations, executives, and sales professionals call first. As an engaging speaker, Master Coach, and well-known author of many books and articles, Keith is one of the foremost authorities on coaching people to achieve positive change in their attitude, behavior, and results. For his work as a pioneer and leader in the coaching profession, Inc. magazine and Fast Company named Keith one of the five most respected and influential executive coaches in the country.
If you’re ready for better results quickly, contact Keith about personal or team coaching and training at 1-888-262-2450 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit Keith Rosen online at Profit Builders and be sure to sign up for his free newsletter The Winners Path.