Written by Sean McPheat |
We’ve never been so time-poor.
With everything inside and outside of our control exerting pressure on us to deliver, it’s not surprising that many things that should be done miss their deadline.
One of those things that often goes by the wayside is proper and complete preparation for a sales presentation.
Because so many other things are pressing us for attention, we sometimes feel that we don’t have to give preparation for our presentations that much time.
We’ve done it ten/twenty/hundreds of times before, so why should I prepare?
This is actually a poor mindset to fall into, as it can easily come back and bite you. Hard.
Imagine being in a presentation with a new prospect, and a slide appears with another company’s logo on it.
Or you present a solution that wouldn’t work for this particular prospect in their market.
You look like what you are; a too-busy-to-check-the-important-stuff salesperson.
And that’s what happened when a salesperson came in to present to me last week.
We needed new office equipment, and the salesperson showed me a few slides and a portfolio of his solution.
Some of his slides had another company’s figures on them and most of his presentation referred to items and ideas that were irrelevant to me and my business.
Needless to say, he was embarrassed and didn’t get the business.
So, why should you always take time to plan?
Here are some of my ideas:
1) It means you take the prospect’s business seriously
Without proper preparation, the prospect will pick up that they are not important to you, and you’re just going through the motions
2) It gives you confidence before you even start
Yes, you may have checked the slides and all the materials in your presentation.
But if you’re not prepared sufficiently, your lack of confidence (especially when you can’t remember what comes up next) will show through, even subliminally.
3) You can personalise the figures and vital ideas to the client
There can’t be many worse situations than highlighting the value of your solution and then finding your prospect doesn’t agree with the figures.
Proper prepping will ensure that doesn’t happen
4) Every prospect is different, so your presentation has to reflect their uniqueness
If you go with your bog-standard presentation, it will come across as ‘canned’ and the prospect will wonder if everything you do will be standardised, not personalised.
5) You’ll make the prospect feel they are important in your eyes
If you want loyalty from your clients, you’ll only get it if you offer bespoke value at every touchpoint.
This is a vital part of the whole client-supplier journey, so if it’s not right now, the prospect will wonder what kind of service they will get in the future.
6) It shows you’re professional right from the start
Start as you mean to continue.
By not preparing sufficiently for this part of the journey, you’re telling the prospect you are too busy, or too lazy, to build something specific for their situation.
That doesn’t engender confidence for the future relationship.
Even if you are time-poor, give this key element in your sales process the attention it deserves.
If you do, you’ll immediately see the benefits for yourself, and in the loyalty of new customers.
Originally published: 21 February, 2018