Ever tried to have a conversation with someone who absently nods while you talk because—you can see—he or she is just waiting to say what they want to say? Annoying, right? Makes you feel like getting up and walking out of the room? Welcome to the world of a potential customer who is at the receiving end of a one-way sales pitch.
Listen to Graham Palmer, Sales and Trade Marketing Director for Omron Healthcare, stress the importance of seeing a sales presentation more as a conversation than a pitch:
“So the best salesperson will up front ask all the questions they possibly can, allow the customer to do all of the talking, ask clarifying questions when things are unclear, summarize, and then present their solution to that need or that objective.”
Questions—yours and theirs—are at the heart of creating a conversation. Experienced sales reps assess the audience and anticipate the questions customers may have. When you are prepared, you can remain fully present, listen deeply, and share the data or story that addresses their true concern.
You want to show industry and product knowledge, but avoid the common trap of responding to questions by plunging into details too soon. Start with the question the customer has in mind: "How will this address my business need?"
The best approaches:
- Uncover the business reason behind the question.
- Summarize and ask questions that help you get a clear sense of their real issue.
- Answer with a succinct sentence that answers the question and captures your perspective.
- Follow up, if needed, with evidence that is customer specific. Match your content with the level of information that meets their needs.
- Try to find out how they like to consume information—a story or with research and data.
So, set yourself up for success at your next sales presentation by engaging your customer in a conversation, rather than clobbering them with a sales pitch. Conversations move the sales process forward—and are more fun, anyway.
To get more information about our SalesSpeaking® course goals and agenda, click here: https://www.powerspeaking.com/salesspeaking.