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March 16, 2017 // 8:30 AM

The 5 Sales Presentation Guidelines You Must Follow to Close the Deal

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There’s nothing worse than getting through an entire sales presentation only to hear, “That was great, but I just need some time to think this over.” While many salespeople focus on making their presentations flashy, fun, and exciting, they do little to ensure that their presentations address the prospect’s top concerns -- and provide an irresistible solution.

As a result, many presentations are met with wishy-washy responses that drag along the sales process and waste valuable time. If you’ve done everything right during the discovery process -- digging deeply into your prospect’s challenges and understanding exactly what they need -- only to get a noncommittal response, then your presentation needs some major adjusting.

Sticking to these five simple sales presentation guidelines will help you blow your competition away while dramatically increasing your chances of closing the sale.

1) Lead with solutions

Have you ever met with a prospect who was excited about your product or service -- and used your presentation to keep on selling? This is called over-selling, and it’s the leading cause of death for sales presentations. When you start your presentation, first lead with solutions. Don’t talk about the benefits of your product’s features or tell the prospect how great your company is. Simply dive into how you’re going to solve the deepest frustration your prospect is facing right now.

2) Incorporate case studies

Once you’ve addressed the specific solutions you can provide to the prospect, it’s time to add some color to your presentation. Turn your sales presentation into an engaging story by sharing case studies of similar prospects and the results they’ve achieved with your help. This step is important for building trust and credibility with the prospect. At the same time, case studies bring your solutions to life in the real world, making your presentation more engaging.

3) Ask for feedback throughout

Most presentations are a one-way monologue by the salesperson. This approach is boring -- and it’s certainly no way to connect with a prospect. Instead, ask short questions throughout your presentation like “Does that make sense?” or “Can you see how this would work for you?” Asking for feedback periodically ensures your prospect stays on the same page.

4) Welcome interruptions

If you want to close more sales, you have to care about what your prospect is thinking throughout your presentation. Any interruption is the perfect opportunity to find out. Whenever a prospect interrupts you -- either with a verbal remark or subtle shift in their facial expression or posture -- stop immediately. Acknowledge the interruption, and welcome the opportunity to explore it with the prospect. Never ignore signals just to stay on a roll and conclude your point. Invite prospects to ask their questions or share their concerns. The opportunity to respond to those concerns is always more valuable than whatever you were about to say.

5) Wrap it up quickly

Your presentation should be ASAP: As Short As Possible. It’s natural for salespeople to get excited about what they have to share, but this causes most of them to ramble on for far too long. Prospects only care about themselves and their challenges. Present the information they’ll be interested in -- and nothing more. Practice your next sales presentation with a colleague or friend and ask for their honest feedback on its length.

Will you implement this five-step sales presentation framework to better understand your prospects and avoid noncommittal responses? Share your plans in the comments below. For more great sales advice, check out this free 9-Day Sales Intensive to transform your selling approach.

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Topics: Sales Presentations

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