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How important in the sales process is the actual presentation

Some of my colleagues at work feel they need additional sales training on how to present our company. They actually think that to have each of us give our 20 minute presentation will be beneficial to each of us.

I feel that the presentation is the culmination of all the other steps of the sales process that got you to the presentation point and while the presentation itself is important, all the other steps prior to the presentation are far more important. If you dont know your audience, understand their pains and have built rapport, you are just throwing a dart and hoping for a bullseye regardless of how well refined your actual presentation is.

Anyone have any feedback on this? - by gpeterman
Some of my colleagues at work feel they need additional sales training on how to present our company. They actually think that to have each of us give our 20 minute presentation will be beneficial to each of us.

I feel that the presentation is the culmination of all the other steps of the sales process that got you to the presentation point and while the presentation itself is important, all the other steps prior to the presentation are far more important. If you dont know your audience, understand their pains and have built rapport, you are just throwing a dart and hoping for a bullseye regardless of how well refined your actual presentation is.

Anyone have any feedback on this?
I think you're right about the role of the steps prior to the presentation. If your company feels the same way then what kind of presentation are they wanting you and the others to give? - by Houston
Is it a standard, "canned" presentation? Or does each salesperson have the freedom to create their own presentation?

If is a company canned presentation, then the only benefit from group practice is to get feedback on the "sincerity" and polish of the presentation (and to give management an opportunity to evaluate how well or poorly their "message" is getting out--and who to come down on).

On the other hand, if each salesperson has the opportunity to develop their own presentation, the practice sessions can be very beneficial. It's a great opportunity to get feedback on what is good and want needs to be worked on. It gives everyone else the opportunity to pick up some tips on what one salesperson is doing that is really good. It gives those with less confidence and polish the opportunity to work on their presentations. It can give the group opportunities to present to different types of "buyers" and in different "situations." It can give people the opportunity to try new things. The benefit list is almost endless.

But the benefits of group presentations are only there if the salespeople take the task seriously. That's where the tough part comes in--getting buy-in by everyone that the exercise can be helpful.

Typically, if it is a company canned presentation, it's pretty useless because the only objective of most people is to get the words down exactly without the slightest interest in what they're really doing. But, then, company canned presentations tend to be pretty worthless anyway. But that's a whole different discussion. - by pmccord
gpeterman,

I believe if you replace your presentation with a well thought-out diagnosis, you run farther and it better differentiates you from the other salespeople who are selling by presenting.

When I was an embalmer I saw how doctors were selling $100,000 plus procedures without selling. They diagnosed the situation and let patients decide what they wanted to do. There was no pressure only the facts.

And as we know, people don't argue with doctors.

What do you think? - by Bald Dog
I think you're right about the role of the steps prior to the presentation. If your company feels the same way then what kind of presentation are they wanting you and the others to give?
Houston,
I agree with your comment

Good work - by Snowboy
In my business the presentation does not seem to be a high priority with my customers. If we're talking about the way I present myself, then yes, I think that makes a big impression on them.

Many of my customers aren't really interested and don't have time to look at my demonstration products. They want to visit with me and leisurely look through the brochures in their own time.

My business has been steadily growing since I started last October and I had my biggest sales this campaign. (campaigns are every 2 weeks). - by ozzie
Being a good presenter does not necessarily make you a skilled salesperson. It is just one of several skills that enhance your probability of succes

Presenting is akin to marketing activities, which are one-to-many communication modes.

It is far more important to develop personal relationships of mutual trust and respect. The latter is a sales activity, which is a one-to-one communication. - by JacquesWerth
Hello,
I think I agree most with Paul. (Great Comment Paul),

I think it is imperitive that all staff have their own personalised presentation or if it is a "canned" presentation the freedom to put their own personality in it.

Cheers. - by dodobird
In my business the presentation does not seem to be a high priority with my customers. If we're talking about the way I present myself, then yes, I think that makes a big impression on them.

Many of my customers aren't really interested and don't have time to look at my demonstration products. They want to visit with me and leisurely look through the brochures in their own time.

My business has been steadily growing since I started last October and I had my biggest sales this campaign. (campaigns are every 2 weeks).
Agreed Ozzie - Self Presentation in any sales field is important - by Snowboy
Being a good presenter does not necessarily make you a skilled salesperson. It is just one of several skills that enhance your probability of succes

Presenting is akin to marketing activities, which are one-to-many communication modes.

It is far more important to develop personal relationships of mutual trust and respect. The latter is a sales activity, which is a one-to-one communication.
Well said Jacques - Keep up the great post and comments - by Snowboy
Hello,
I think I agree most with Paul. (Great Comment Paul),

I think it is imperitive that all staff have their own personalised presentation or if it is a "canned" presentation the freedom to put their own personality in it.

Cheers.
William - Creating a presentation based on your own personality shoud come as a normal thing to anyone in sales. Delivery of any topic in sales should be done using a personal touch. Does anyone else agree with this?

CHeers. - by Snowboy
I agree with you Houston. - by John Hughes
William - Creating a presentation based on your own personality shoud come as a normal thing to anyone in sales. Delivery of any topic in sales should be done using a personal touch. Does anyone else agree with this?

CHeers.
Nicely Said Snowboy - by John Hughes
"It is far more important to develop personal relationships of mutual trust and respect. The latter is a sales activity, which is a one-to-one communication."

I believe my customers and I regard the relationship between us as the most important thing and it's probably what gets me the most sales. Some customers are busy and don't have or take time to develop a relationship with me. These customers don't order regularly either. - by ozzie
Some of my colleagues at work feel they need additional sales training on how to present our company. They actually think that to have each of us give our 20 minute presentation will be beneficial to each of us.

I feel that the presentation is the culmination of all the other steps of the sales process that got you to the presentation point and while the presentation itself is important, all the other steps prior to the presentation are far more important. If you dont know your audience, understand their pains and have built rapport, you are just throwing a dart and hoping for a bullseye regardless of how well refined your actual presentation is.

Anyone have any feedback on this?
Try selling without a presentation. - by Wonderboy
Try selling without a presentation.
What is a "presentation" to you? - by Houston
What is a "presentation" to you?
Bare minimum: a greeting or introduction, interviewing the prospect and the offer. If you work in an industry where you do billing or troubleshooting, then take care of that first before doing an interview to gather information (of course the offer would give details on the product or service while the interview would tell you whether an opportunity exists to make a sale - if you have access to a customer's account, you should review that first). - by Wonderboy
Every salesperson presents. Whether that presentation is a formal presentation, wrapped up in a questioning process, mailed as a flier or brochure, or done with hand signals, everyone presents somehow, someway. It's communicating information the prospect needs or wants to know.

Question based selling is just as much presenting as a traditional presentation, just a different package.

The question isn't what's the newest, neatest process, or the wow-est new concept, or the most popular at the moment. It's what do you do well and how you can you do that when you're selling. For some, it's a formal presentation. For others, it's question based. For another, it may be another process.

Everyone is different--that's why there are so many different processes. They all work, some better than others--for the right people. All you have to do is find the process that works for you and then do it as often as possible. - by pmccord
Way back when I entered the big, wide, world of selling the only training I got being told to go gettum tiger!

After a couple of years of bouncing off walls and not finding any reasonable success I took the Dale Carnegie Sales Course. In those days they focused on the acronym AICDC if I remember correctly.

A =Attention
I = Interest
C= Conviction
D= Desire
C= Close

From this formula I was able to create a presentation that could be easily adjusted for about any new circumstance. It also let my mind relax so I could listen more intently to my customer.

Has anyone else used this formula?

Chuck - by Sales Pro 1000
Way back when I entered the big, wide, world of selling the only training I got being told to go gettum tiger!

After a couple of years of bouncing off walls and not finding any reasonable success I took the Dale Carnegie Sales Course. In those days they focused on the acronym AICDC if I remember correctly.

A =Attention
I = Interest
C= Conviction
D= Desire
C= Close

From this formula I was able to create a presentation that could be easily adjusted for about any new circumstance. It also let my mind relax so I could listen more intently to my customer.

Has anyone else used this formula?
You got it right except for the order, which is, AIDCA. It was first identified as the "Five Step Buying Decision Model." Later, salespeople used it as a way to manipulate prospects mind through the buying process.

I learned that formula in 1953 when I majored in Industrial Sales at what is now New York Technical University. The concept originated in the 1930s. It was tested and verified by a large group of psychologist in the late 1940s. Then, it was used as the foundation of the "Scientific Selling" movement of the 1950s, which was the precursor to "Consultative Selling." All of those concepts are derivations, of the now obsolete “Needs Selling” paradigm.

In the new “Wants Selling” paradigm, you only spend time with prospects that already have the Attention, Interest and Desire. Then, your sales focus is strictly on Conviction and Action. - by JacquesWerth
Well said Jacques - by Snowboy
William - Creating a presentation based on your own personality shoud come as a normal thing to anyone in sales. Delivery of any topic in sales should be done using a personal touch. Does anyone else agree with this?
CHeers.
"When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything that needs to be fixed will get nailed." - Annon.

There are far more effective sales tools than presentations. - by JacquesWerth
There are far more effective sales tools than presentations.
I believe it's the presentation bit that holds salespeople back from being perceived as peers by buyers. That's why buyers often demand detailed proposals, detailed presentations and other bits and bobs which cost the seller a small fortune. And this small fortune is spent on buyers who've never expressed a conditional commitment to buy if the seller can fulfil their buying criteria.

Most of these buyers are not wildly committed but merely mildly interested.

How come that the non-presenting professions don't have the typical sales problems? Have you ever seen a heart surgeon do a sales presentation. It's justified because he's selling a $100,000 triple bypass procedure.

He doesn't present and no one argues and haggles with him. Why is that? I think it's because a thorough diagnosis was done beforehand, and the patient came to the decision to change (buy the procedure) without any coercion or typical closing techniques from the doctor. The doctor's power lies in the fact that he gives the power of decision to the patient. The doctor is fine whatever the patient decides. The doctor doesn't overcome objections.

I still believe that doctors are some of the best salespeople out there. But that's just me. And being a former medical professionals (well, embalmer), I'm a bit biased for the medical profession. - by Bald Dog
My idea of a presentation is presenting the pros and cons of a recommended solution. Doctors do that too. - by Iceman
My idea of a presentation is presenting the pros and cons of a recommended solution. Doctors do that too.
Iceman, it seems to me from your comment that yours is not even a proper presentation (one-way preaching) but a relaxed and honest hype and bull****-free dialogue between peers. And that's brilliant. - by Bald Dog
Iceman, it seems to me from your comment that yours is not even a proper presentation (one-way preaching) but a relaxed and honest hype and bull****-free dialogue between peers. And that's brilliant.
I have never known another way. How do others deliver presentations? Why would a presentation be one-way preaching? :cu - by Iceman
Why would a presentation be one-way preaching? :cu

In my experience, the salesperson comes into the boardroom, grabs hold of the projector's remote control, and then the monologue starts. The salesperson talks and the audience listens. After the presentation the manager says, "Good work Joe. I loved the dancing Teddy bear on the screen. I'll present your presentation to the boss, and if interested, we'll get back to you."

This is what I meant. And it happens so often. - by Bald Dog
In my experience, the salesperson comes into the boardroom, grabs hold of the projector's remote control, and then the monologue starts. The salesperson talks and the audience listens. After the presentation the manager says, "Good work Joe. I loved the dancing Teddy bear on the screen. I'll present your presentation to the boss, and if interested, we'll get back to you."
I have not experienced that type of presentation before. Are there industries where that is standard procedure? - by Iceman
From my experience I see the use of a Power Point presentation is valuable in that it allows one to smoke out the major hitters within a company much earlier than a one-on-one sales call.

It doesn't guarantee that 100% will be in attendance, and probably they aren't.

I've had excellent results using a presentation like this when selling large groups where multiple people are involved with the buying decision.

Chuck - by Sales Pro 1000
I have not experienced that type of presentation before. Are there industries where that is standard procedure?
That's not a presentation style that I've used either. Maybe it's a coporate thing? :dun - by Houston
Houston, what do you sell? - by Sales Pro 1000
Houston, what do you sell?
Real Estate. - by Houston
Houston,

That was a fast reply.

I've not sold real estate so I'm not familar with what does and doesn't work to build one's business.

I do sell promotional advertising products to some local realtors but unfortunately most that I'm working with are floundering in this present market situation.

I guess I might be asking a loaded question here.

Have you ever used advertising specialty products successfully in your business?

Did you find they made any kind of difference?

I'd appreciate your thoughts about using the concept in this market that seems to be countrywide at this point and not just local.


Thanks for sharing whatever you can.

Chuck - by Sales Pro 1000
Have you ever used advertising specialty products successfully in your business?
Not that I remember. What type of businesses have you found see the most success with advertising specialty products? - by Houston
Good question, Houston.

All businesses and organizations can benefit from the use of advertising specialty products if they are a part of a well thought out and executed project.

Realtors make up a sizeable portion of my business in the last part of the year. I sell them wall calendars, refrigerator magnets, pens, pencils, rulers, jar openers and the list goes on and on. - by Sales Pro 1000
Realtors make up a sizeable portion of my business in the last part of the year. I sell them wall calendars, refrigerator magnets, pens, pencils, rulers, jar openers and the list goes on and on.
I don't see how advertising specialties would help me. How are other real estate agents using them successfully? - by Houston
All businesses and organizations can benefit from the use of advertising specialty products if they are a part of a well thought out and executed project.
One of our clients is a $20 million a year dealer in promotional products.

Their biggest markets are pharmaceutical companies and the safety departments of major manufacturing, chemical, oil and mining companies. The latter are in the form of rewards for reductions in reportable accidents.

They do that with 5 salespeople. - by JacquesWerth
Houston, thanks for your kind reply.

The key to spending money on advertising specialties is to have an outcome in mind before one can make an intelligent decision.

Let's say your farm is 1000 homes. Let's say you were to walk to each of these homes and leave something tangible on their doorknob.

What do you think the odds are that something positive will come out of this action? - by Sales Pro 1000
Jacques,

Many thanks for your thoughtful contribution. I'm all ears.

Chuck - by Sales Pro 1000
Let's say your farm is 1000 homes. Let's say you were to walk to each of these homes and leave something tangible on their doorknob.

What do you think the odds are that something positive will come out of this action?
I think the odds would be low and improve with each delivery because of timing, awareness and positive association. The same for mail or telephone prospecting. - by Houston
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