Written by Sean McPheat |
Let’s face it, you probably prefer to talk to one person at a time when you sell your services, as you can establish good rapport, deal with one question at a time and generally focus on just one challenge at a time.
But what if you need to present to more than one person, say, a panel of decision-makers or a group? Are the rules different? What are the dynamics in selling to the group? Here are some guidelines.
Firstly, think about how you will present yourself. Dress conservatively, so the group will concentrate on what you say rather than discuss your colour choice afterward!
Then, get there early so you can introduce yourself to each one as they arrive in the room. What I do is shake hands and make a mental note of their name, then write it down on my notepad. I will write it in the order how they are sitting, so I can take a quick look and see who’s sitting next to whom, and that helps when I address them later in the presentation.
If you can, find out something about their roles before you meet them, so you can ask an interesting question of each person when you are introduced. A quick look on Linked-In, FaceBook or Google will get you some interesting snippets.
Make sure you know who is the main decision-maker in the group. You want to direct a lot of attention to them, as they will need to feel good about the presentation.
Uncover group concerns and objections early. Write them up and refer to them often during your discussions.
Remember that the group may have different learning styles. So provide the numbers for the analyticals. Create some thought-provoking ideas for the reflectors. And build in some exercises for the activists. Each person will need to be catered for.
Present solid, emotional reasons why they should use your company. Some will be looking for the opportunities that will come with your solutions, while others will identify with the protection or security you can offer their company. Cover all the bases.
Make sure all the handouts are professional, clear and great quality. You don’t want to lose the opportunity you’ve built up simply because the materials aren’t up to scratch. Some people will judge you completely by how you come across to the group, and your materials can make or break your chances.
So, make sure you show yourself in the best light to the group, and they will give you the time and opportunity to present your proposal and, most importantly, consider it for their company.
Originally published: 21 March, 2011
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