Sales Best Practice #23 – Makes persuasive presentations

A best practice for salespeople by Dave Kahle.
Best Practice #23: Routinely makes powerful persuasive presentations.

In my first professional sales position, I spent six full weeks in sales training before I was released to go out into my territory. That included memorizing two five-page, single-spaced sales presentations, presenting them to the sales training class, critiquing the video-taped playback of the presentation, and then doing it all again – for six weeks! At the end of those six weeks, every one of us could give those two presentations masterfully.

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While the use of prewritten, memorized sales presentations still continues today, it’s only rarely used in the business-to-business selling environment. It may be that today’s frantic pace of new product development makes the time it takes to memorize a sales presentation seem less valuable. I’d like to think it may be that today’s salesperson is more sophisticated and able to adjust the sales presentation to the needs of each individual customer.

While memorized presentations may be a vestige of years gone by, that in no way reduces the need to make a well designed, practiced sales presentation. The ability to routinely make powerful, persuasive sales presentations, regardless of the customer or product, is one of the practices of the best.

The world is full of salespeople who take a casual attitude toward a sales presentation. Some think that they know the product so well that their superior product knowledge will ooze out during the presentation, impressing the customer into buying. Others do not put in the necessary preparation and practice time, and, in an attempt to cover their lack of confidence, focus on those parts of the presentation with which they feel most comfortable. Still others feel that their ability to improvise will eventually lead them to a persuasive presentation.

The truth is that there is no shortcut to a persuasive presentation. It begins with studying the customer as well as the product or service. It takes preparation to decide which of the customer’s issues to address, and which specific features of your offer to emphasize. It takes time to organize the facts and features into a cohesive presentation. It takes time to build in interactive elements, and to gather the right samples and documents. And it takes time to practice (yes, practice) the presentation before you actually make it. A persuasive presentation begins with methodical preparation.

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Maybe that’s why so few salespeople give this aspect of their job the attention that it deserves. And maybe that’s why routinely making powerful and persuasive presentations is a practice of the very best.

To learn more about this practice, review these resources: The CD, How to Make Powerful and Persuasive Presentations, or the Video version: Persuasive Presentations, Part 1 & 2.

You may also want to review

* Chapter eight of How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime.
* Chapter twelve of Take Your Sales Performance Up a Notch.

If you are a member of The Sales Resource Center®, consider The One Month ‘Persuasive Presentations’ Course, or The Six Month ‘Consultative Selling’ Course.

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About the author:

Dave Kahle is one of the world’s leading sales authorities. He’s written twelve books, presented in 47 states and ten countries, and has helped enrich tens of thousands of sales people and transform hundreds of sales organizations. Sign up for his free weekly Ezine. His most recent book, How to Sell Anything to Anyone Anytime, has been named one of the “five best business books,” by three international entities.

Copyright MMXV by Dave Kahle

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