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The 6 Steps of Successful Selling - Part 4, The Presentation

by Robert Garment, Executive Editor | March 27, 2006
Last week we continued our examination of the six steps to successful selling. You can see the earlier articles by scrolling down to the bottom of the News and clicking on News Archive.
Last week we covered Steps 2 & 3, The Introductioin and Questioning. This week it's on to Step 4.

The 6 Steps of The Sale
1. Planning and Preparation
2. The Introduction or Opening
3. Questioning and Probing
4. The Presentation
5. Overcoming Objections and Negotiating
6. The Closing

Step 4 - The Presentation
-\tYour presentation should always focus on the unique perceived benefit that your products and services deliver.

-\tIn Step 3, Question & Probing, you should have discovered what the customer's most important needs are, now your Presentation must answer those needs.

-\tDo not just focus on the "bottom-line" needs, other needs you can fulfill can be the difference that gets you the sale - like the way your products and services fit customer's organizational structure, the strategic goals, their environmental needs, etc.)

-\tThe point just made is especially important to consider if you have to present to different people or groups with the company, all of whom have different priorities and "turf" to defend.

-\tYou presentation should always be delivered with a sense of honesty and integrity - the "honesty" of the presentation is always regarded as a direct indication of the quality and integrity of the products and services you sell.

-\tYour presentation must always meet the expectations of the listener in terms of the level of information and relevance to the prospect's own position in the company.

-\tYour presentation should include relevant "success stories" for businesses that are similar in many ways to that of the current prospect - perhaps even a direct competitor. If your products and services work for them, the prospect can quickly envision how you can help him.

-\tYour presentation should use the language and style the audience is comfortable with -- technical people need technical evidence; sales and marketing people like to see flair and competitive advantage; management and financial people want clear, concise benefits to costs, profits and operating efficiency, etc.

-\tIf you have to present to a large group and in great depth, it's advisable to bring one or two suitably experienced colleagues, it's not just to help "hold your hand," bringing in more troops shows the prospect you care enough about their business to go to the time and expense assemble a "sales team."

-\tAlways keep control of the presentation; if you don't know the answer to a question,- say you promise to get back with an answer later, and make sure you do.

-\tDo not knock the competition - it undermines your credibility and integrity - don't even imply anything derogatory about the competition.
-\tUse props, samples and demonstrations as necessary.

-\tDuring the presentation seek feedback, confirmation and agreement as to what you are saying, if you think you're off course, ask the prospect what you can do right now to make them more receptive to what you are saying.

This may be time to go to Step 5, Overcoming Objections, which we will get to next week.