It’s useless to be a good craftsperson . . . unless you can also sell what you create. Your customers cannot be expected to recognize a good idea unless it is presented to them by a good salesperson.
This is a paraphrased quote from David Ogilvy, one of America’s advertising legends. You can develop the very best solution to an exceptionally complex problem, but if you can’t present that idea in a way that will convince your prospects, all of your work has been wasted.
Your time in the spotlight is your sales presentation. The way you conduct yourself during the few hours you spend with your prospects is crucial to your sales success. Far too many remodelers go to meeting after meeting after meeting with no plan of attack — they simply wing it.
Sales professionals have a plan and they work it. They know exactly what they want to happen in each phase of the selling cycle and they work toward those goals. They know that each element of their presentation builds upon the next and that they can’t move on until they’ve successfully completed each step. They leave nothing to chance.
Pay Attention to the Six Main Elements that Can Make the Difference in Any Sales Presentation:
1. Make an outstanding first impression. You have only three seconds to make your first impression and 30 more seconds to revise it if the impression is not favorable. So don’t take any chances. Show up on time, with the right materials and ready to go. Dress neatly and professionally at all times.
Remember that people communicate information in a variety of ways: 7% through the spoken word, 38% through tone of voice and 55% through non-verbal communication. Watch how you’re conveying information through your facial expressions, posture (stand up tall and confident), tone of voice, attitude (be enthusiastic), handshake, and eye contact.
2. Ask open-ended questions to draw prospects out. Open-ended questions starting with Who, What, Where, Why, How, and Tell me about . . . This type of questioning allows prospects to participate in the sales process. It will feel less like a “pitch” and more like a discussion. They will use less emotion and justify their decision through logic.
3. Always determine the budget early in the sales process by asking if they have an investment amount in mind. Otherwise you can’t give them the right solution. If your prospects don’t have an investment amount in mind, “bracket” a ballpark figure with a high and low number to see if their budget idea is at all realistic.
4. Your materials should be organized and neat. Presentation books full of pictures of your work and testimonial letters are a must as it is the only concrete representation of your company. Be sure to use professional photos. They make every project look great.
5. Know the best ways to handle objections. Remember that the best time to handle an objection is before it surfaces. Cover potential problems in your presentation. Studies show that there are only six main objections in any one industry. Write down the objections you’re running into and develop responses. Learn these responses until you can answer naturally. Then, practice, practice, practice.
6. Always ask for the prospects’ business. Amazingly, studies show that 65% of all sales calls do not include a direct request for business! Just think how many more sales you’ll close if you just ask directly and confidently!
If you follow these six guidelines, you’ll cover the important basics of professional selling. In order to do your best job, observe your selling habits now, work to change them, and then watch how you’ll have grown and developed into a top-notch salesperson for your company.