Written by Sean McPheat |
I remember meeting a salesperson in my office who presented me with a product that would hopefully deal with some challenges we were having at the time.
The product was quicker, more efficient and easier to use than our current product. It was more expensive and would have meant us getting other quotes in, but all-in-all it would do the job.
The salesman went through his presentation, showed me the benefits and build a good platform for me to make my decision. I said that we were going to get some more quotes and that I would think about it.
He left and I never heard from him again.
It’s not he only time that salespeople have puzzled me with their poor salesmanship and professionalism.
Would we have bought if he had followed-up? Probably yes, because what we bought was specifically more expensive than his offer.
So, what should he have done? What should happen immediately following a presentation that will convince the prospect that you can offer benefits that will outweigh their challenges?
Here are six suggestions:
Get Immediate Feedback
This allows you to get critical and constructive feedback immediately about the decision-maker’s state of mind following your presentation. They may not always be truly honest, as they haven’t had time to digest and assimilate your offer yet. But it gives you a chance to see if there are any immediate concerns or questions still lingering.
If they reply with a hesitant ‘yes, it was fine’, but with no eye contact and some negative body language, then you know you may need to ask one or two follow-up questions to determine their real emotional response.
Decision-makers often judge the accountability of salespeople by the speed of the follow-up of promises. Great salespeople differentiate themselves from competitive presentations by writing personal notes to each stakeholder, thanking them for their time and attention. It just adds that personal touch that might make you stand out from the crowd. Whatever you do, ensure you keep your promises.
Keep Pertinent Records
This means documenting what’s been said, what you did, what actions need to be taken and how you are going to follow up. If appropriate, you could send a summary to each participant, so they have a record of what was discussed and any actions needed to be taken.
Send Additional Info To Add Value
Imagine if you had received a presentation from a salesperson, then a day or two later they followed up with a valuable and informative article on the systems they had presented, white papers that identify results others have achieved and some interesting industry information you hadn’t seen before. How would you view the diligence and helpfulness of that salesperson?
If it’s practical, make sure you build your reputation as a consultant, adding meaning to each individual who you presented to, so they see reasons why your offer increases its value in their eyes.
Assess How It All Went
Did you achieve your goals? Were the customer’s goals dealt with by way of your presentation? What did you learn if the presentation didn’t hit the mark?
By asking and answering questions relating to the success of the presentation, you build awareness of any changes that need to be made for future demonstrations of your products and services
Plan For The Next Steps In The Process
What needs to happen next for you to progress this possibility? Think short and long-term. If it was successful, what has to happen for you to ensure your promises made in the presentation are kept?
If it wasn’t, what can you learn so that future demonstrations are better suited to the customer’s needs?
Each one of these steps will help you progress and improve when you present solutions to prospects. Also, you’ll set yourself apart from your competition who may simply rely on price or product quality to sell for them.
You’ll look more professional and give prospects good reasons to choose your solution because of the trust and reliability you have shown even before they have bought from you.
Originally published: 25 June, 2015