Julie Hansen is the author of Sales Presentation for Dummies and ACT Like a Sales Pro. Her blog has been named the “Most Innovative Sales Blog” for the past two years. In today’s episode, we discuss how most salespeople are still using the past presentation models in today’s market and how we can propel them forward into the 21st Century.
Despite the rise of remote selling, the sales presentation still is an essential part of the buying process for many companies. Julie says “Most salespeople are using sales presentation techniques based on audience behavior from the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s before prospects were able to escape to their smartphones or tablets the second they weren’t engaged.” The sales process has evolved; however, presentations are still the land untouched by time. Julie takes the old model and propels the presentation process into the 21st century.
Sales is fundamentally an apprenticeship, and people see certain behaviors being modeled and that is what they emulate. Sales reps are busy, they have to prospect, develop relationships, build rapport, develop creditably, build trust, and find the right solution. But unfortunately the sales presentation has gone by the wayside.
There are commonalities between acting and selling, we all play roles in our lives and sales is no different. Johnny Depp said, “With any part you play there is still a part of yourself in it; otherwise it’s not just acting it is lying.” If you are in front of a person, whether virtually or physically, there is an act of performing going on.
If you have the intention to go in and rehash what the prospect already knows, you are always going to be in a losing situation from the start. People are well informed and expect a simple presentation. The sales rep needs to know what their needs are and how they can add value before getting in front of the prospect.
1. Slides don’t differentiate you:
Slides are fine, just don’t expect them to do magic, utilize them as support for your message. Make sure your slides do not suck; you only want to have one bullet point per slide.
2. Slides won’t make a boring message interesting:
The #1 Rule in presentations is DITCH THE PITCH! The prospect has already done all the research necessary to know about you. Julie says to “DUMP THE CORPORATE SELFIE!” The average attention span has dropped 50% in the last 10 years.
3. Your medium is not your message
4. You are the instrument
5. Engagement is key to retention:
Do not have a long monolog; reps want to have a plan for interactions by asking smart questions. The more a prospect participates, chances are they are paying attention and retaining the information you have provided.
Tune into the podcast for the other two fatigue factors and hear more in-depth knowledge on propelling your sales presentations to the stratosphere.
What’s your most powerful sales asset?
What tool do you use for managing your own sales that you can’t live without?
Who’s your sales role model?
What’s the one book that every salesperson should read?
Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip Heath and Dan Heath
What’s your favorite music to get you pumped up?
The Avett Brothers: Punk Grass Music
What’s the first sales activity you do every day?
What’s the one question you get asked frequently by salespeople?
How can I quickly tailor my presentation?