As a seller or a sales leader, are you using the wrong approach to a sales presentation?
It’s far too common. A seller meets with a prospect, loads up their slide deck, and then proceeds to…read.
That’s right, they basically just recite whatever it is that any particular slide reads.
Almost none of these presentations truly engage prospects.
As salespeople, we must own the story we’re trying to tell.
Sure, you can use slides to help illustrate your points, but your actual topics of discussion should be internalized, ideally with your own personal anecdotes, thoughts, and findings so that you’re having a real conversation with your prospect—rather than reading off bullet points.
Firstly, simply reading off slides insinuates a certain degree of unpreparedness. It also doesn’t—exactly—promote a great amount of confidence in what you’re sharing, and it will likely have your prospect questioning the actual point of the presentation. Why would they want to sit there and listen to something they could just read themselves?!
On the other hand, a dynamic, fluid and engaging conversation with a prospect keeps them both informed and focused on the conversation at hand. They’re much more likely to trust a salesperson who isn’t simply reading bullet points, but understanding the problem, and clearly outlining a solution. They want to know the sales rep they’re speaking to understands his or her solution well enough to not rely on simply reading slides from a screen.
So, what’s the best way to make this important shift? A combination of practice and internalizing the product or service.
That’s right, if you’re a sales leader, don’t think having a force of salespeople who are just reading a set of slides is “good enough.” Role play with them, ask probing questions to ensure they truly understand what it is they’re speaking on, and provide training where necessary to close the gap. Have your reps actually use the product or service they’re selling, make client and customer reviews or testimonials readily available to them so that they can help understand common points of praise, and criticism, from real life consumers.
Your prospects and clients will find little to no value from a salesperson who simply reads material provided to them.
Ensure your sales team is understanding this important point when conducting their sales presentations.