What can you do when you are making presentations, but not making sales? I recently worked with a financial advisor who was making far too many presentations and making far too few sales. We looked at a few areas to determine what was not working. Here are the areas that you can examine if you are not making sales.
Do they believe you?
You’re probably making claims about the performance of your product or service. A prospect has to believe you in order to purchase from you. Prospects buy when they believe you and won’t when they don’t. How can you be more believable? Your presentation includes someone other than you making the claims about your product or service.
Why is this important? You are more persuasive when someone other than you makes a claim because you stand to gain something by making the claim. Your prospect knows that it is in your best interest when you talk glowingly about your products or services. You want the sale. It’s less believable when you make those claims.
This salesperson’s presentation was a company produced video making claims about financial performance and results. The program looked professional, but it wasn’t working. Prospects just didn’t believe the presentation.
Customer testimonials are far more powerful because they are more believable. The reason is customers have nothing to gain by making their statements. That’s why you should get testimonial letters from satisfied customers as part of your sales process. These testimonial letters will have your customers saying the same ideas that you would want to say about your products and services. These letters will be far more persuasive than you could be because the testimonials are more believable.
Ask yourself, “Do my prospects believe me?” Incorporate testimonial letters in your sales process if the answer is no. Have your customers make the claims you want to make to prospects.
Can you prove it?
Testimonial letters serve another useful purpose in sales. Think about how much talking you do in your sales calls. You are probably speaking about all your delighted customers and the results they’re experiencing. That’s what this salesman was doing during his sales calls.
Just because you say it doesn’t make it fact. Prospects need to see proof before they are comfortable making buying decisions. Anything in writing is considered a fact. You have just proven what you say when your prospect reads about a customer’s experience with your products and services in a testimonial letter.
How do you know your prospects are interested and want your product?
Too many salespeople assume way too much in their sales calls. They make the mistake of asking just a few questions. Then when they hear the prospect’s brief answers, salespeople immediately assume, “Yes, he absolutely needs to buy my product.” Then they present. It’s too soon.
This salesperson even asked me, “Should I give my presentation before I ask my prospects questions?” I answered, “How would you even know what to present if you haven’t asked your prospect questions about his interests?”
What I suggested was to chunk down the sales call into smaller parts to gauge interest and agreement. Start the sales call with open ended questions to get your prospect talking broadly about his current situation. That’s how you learn what other questions to ask in specific areas. Ask confirmation questions, like, “And what do you think of this?” or “Does this seem important to you?” as part of your presentation to gauge interest. Before you present any solution you need to have your customer say in his own words that your ideas/products are important and they are open to hearing more.
My very strict rule is that a salesperson can only use what the prospect said or did during the sales call to gauge the success of the sales call. You must ask questions to confirm you and your prospect are in agreement for interest before you present your product or service.
Sales presentations often lead to making sales. Just remember that when your presentations aren’t producing sales, you are probably not believable, you lack proof of your claims, or your customer lacks interest in your product. Next sales call, be sure to address all three areas during your presentation and I predict you will make the sale.