Empty headed in equals empty handed out

30/05/2013 - 07:01


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For best results it pays to tailor your message for each customer.

How much of your presentation is ‘standard’?

Whether you sell a product or service, whether it’s simple or sophisticated, how much (what percentage) of your presentation is the way you usually present it? Void of personalisation, void of customisation, void of interaction? And all about you?

What kind of presentation do you think your prospect wants?

• They want to know what the value is to them.

• They want to know how this fits into their business or life.

• They want to know how they benefit.

• They want to know how they win.

• They want to know how they produce.

• They want to know how it affects them.

• They want to know how they profit.

• They want to know how easy it will be put to use in their environment.

And none of those elements exists in your standard presentation.

Why are you giving a ‘we-we’ presentation (all about you and how great you are) when the customer only wants a presentation in terms of them?

Here’s the reality: When you walk in empty headed, you walk out empty handed.

Here’s an idea – take all the boring stuff you were going to say to the customer, and send it to them in an email saying, ‘Here’s my presentation for the part you could find on Google or on our website, so that when we’re together I don’t bore you. Rather, I’ll be prepared to give you ideas that lead to (state how they win). Fair enough?’

Now you’re a real salesperson. Now you’re forced to go in with ideas and information about them that they can use for their own productivity, enjoyment, use, and profit.

And you now have a better than 50 per cent chance of making the sale.

Caution: Unless your presentation is customised and personalised for the customer and in favour of the customer, there will be a disconnect. Their dominant thought will be that you don’t understand them and/or their business.

Here are some keys to understanding whose favour your presentation is geared toward:

We-We: Statements about you that boast rather than prove.

We-We: Unfavourable statements about the competition.

We-We: Comparing yourself to the competition.

We-We: Self-serving questions; ‘What do you know about us?’

We-We: Qualifying questions about who decides, budget, or payment.

We-We: Non-specific testimonials that praise you, but give no reason why.

We-We: Excuses about why you don’t have Twitter activity or a YouTube channel (they searched for it before you arrived).

We-We: No social media recommendations from customers.

Them: Questions about them that reveal their history, their situation, and their motives – their past experience, their wisdom, their opinion. True engagement.

Them: Testimonials that overcome specific objections – price and quality.

Them: Any third party media that supports you or your product – articles or interviews.

Them: Great (current) social media presence (your reputation that helps put the buyer at ease rather than on guard), including direct interaction with customers.

Them: Ideas you created that they can use. Proof you did your homework.

Key point of understanding: Features are about ‘you’ and benefits are in the middle. They can be stated either way. But value is about ‘them’. And value, customer-perceived value, needs to be the focus of a ‘them-based’ presentation.

Here’s how to measure your customisation reality:

1. Amount of time spent on pre-call research. How well do you know the person and the company you are visiting?

2. The two great ideas you are walking in the door with will benefit them whether they buy or not.

3. The variations that you made in your presentation that adapt to their company, their present situation, their needs, their productivity, and their success.

3.5 Your knowledge of the customer’s buying motives are as good or greater than your selling skills.

Them-based are the most difficult sales presentations of all. Marketing departments have no concept of them, and most salespeople aren’t willing to do the work to prepare them.

That’s great news for the 5 per cent of salespeople who are willing. They’re easy to identify. They’re always the highest performers and the highest earners.



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