- Blog post
How to blow a sales presentation
Your number-one task in a sales presentation? Establishing a connection with the buyer.
After all, the rest is just information. And you could probably just as easily put it in an e-mail. The reason buyers want to see your presentation is to evaluate YOU, not your product. Are you organized? Passionate? Knowledgeable?
And most of all, do you really “get” the buyer?
Sometimes the most confident presenters are the least effective at creating this connection. They’re so focused on what they’re saying that they miss the cues that the buyer is sending, says sales coach Shane Gibson.
Self-absorbed closers have the presentation down pat. They can tick off features, benefits and solutions. They’ve even identified client needs, pains and specific outcomes desired.
What they don’t get – and what kills them – is the buyer’s persona and what approach, type of communication and behavior is most appropriate.
It’s the little things
Sometimes it’s the little things and sometimes it’s one big mistake, says Gibson: an off-color joke, too-aggressive hand shaking, loud talking, or crossing invisible personal boundaries.
People often hear buying language and think they’re “in.” Robert, the prospect, is positive, his head is nodding, he’s asking questions about payment terms. But then the salesperson moves into Robert’s personal space, puts a hand on his shoulder and calls him “Bob.”
Sounds minor, but Bob – er, Robert – may feel that’s getting too personal and that the relationship is somewhere it isn’t. He may even feel that he is being “closed.” So he pulls back physically, brings up some objections to slow the salesperson down and taps on his watch. “Send me a revised quote,” he says, and that’s the last of Robert.
Presentations crumble when we’re unaware of personality styles, values, and cultural nuances. Be just as detailed with the relationship as you are with the mechanics and details of the pitch. You’ll be evaluated on your ability to connect.