Salesopedia.com offers an article from Jeff Thull discussing sales presentations. This topic is a tricky one for salespeople and managers – most view presentations as a good thing…a chance to discuss your offering with a prospective customer. But here is the “trap” that can occur in an ill-timed presentation:
Look at this from the customer’s perspective. Based on what we said about the customer’s area of comprehension, it is highly likely that two-thirds or more of the information that customers hear falls outside their area of comprehension. Further, what they do hear sounds very much the same. What does the customer understand? Price. As you may already expect, everyone is now starting their downward spiral to commoditization…the natural outcome of presenting too much, too soon and too often.
To help you avoid falling victim to the Presentation Trap, ask yourself these five critical questions:
1. What percentage of your sales presentation/proposal is devoted to describing your company and your solution?
2. What percentage of your sales presentation/proposal is devoted to describing your customer’s business, their problems and objectives?
3. How well do your customers understand their own problems?
4. How much of your presentation is focused on persuading and convincing?
5. How well can your customers connect your solutions to their business situation?
Presentations have to occur at the proper time in a sales process. Unfortunately, our experience has shown that most errors occur because salespeople present too early, before they have fully qualified the opportunity.
The need to educate prospects is a hot trend in the information age. However, if you read the article, you will see there is a right way to do this without forcing the prospect’s decision process down to the lowest common denominator…price.