You’re escorted to the boardroom room with a big prospective customer. You stand to make the pitch. It’s go time — your time to wow the people around the table and win a big piece of business.
Where do you start?
For years, I started sales presentations with a lot of background about us — who we were, our capabilities, our process. Entirely expected and a total miss in terms of making an immediate and relevant impact with the customer!
Fortunately, I had a major breakthrough. In a presentation to a big restaurant client, my team flipped the script. Instead of focusing on what we brought to the table, we looked at the world through our clients’ eyes. What challenges were they facing? What did their customers expect? What made their business unique? What were their big opportunities? What could we provide that they really cared about that nobody else could deliver? How were we uniquely positioned to deliver the future that customer wanted?
You want to see a customer’s eyes light up? Talk about them in a way that helps them see the future differently. Teach them something about their category, competition and customers they don’t know. Instill confidence by showing up prepared to demonstrate how you are going to have a substantial impact on their business in way that matters most to them.
Clients report that only 20% of the salespeople they meet with are successful in achieving expectations and creating value. Only one in four of these salespeople get agreement from buyers to meet again. Customers don’t care about you. You are only relevant to the degree that you can help the customer get to where they want to go.
The presentation was a home run. It taught me three valuable lessons about how to deliver more relevant sales presentations and completely changed the way I sell. This is what customers want:
- Compelling insight. The best salespeople are teachers. What can you tell company executives about their organization that they don’t already know? What new ideas can you highlight that they may be missing? You’re an outsider with a new perspective, and you can help your customer navigate the sea of information around them to find the value.
- Customization. We’ve all tried to sell our services/solutions to someone else with a standard story or sales pitch. Those days are over. Instead, every presentation has to be personalized for that unique client. Good presentations can only be given once, because they’re only relevant to that client, in that time and place.
- Urgency. When you find compelling insight, and look at your customer’s unique perspective, you immediately create the third element of a successful sale: Urgency. When your client knows they need you to help them solve their unique problems now, the value is clear and it’s easy for them to say ‘yes’ to the sale. It’s also where you stop competing on price.
In this video, I explain how to improve every sales presentation:
Most sales organization hit reset in January. We’re starting at ground zero. Let’s make this the year that we get closer to our customers, prepare and present with impact and absolutely destroy our performance targets!
Go get it!
Ryan Estis helps companies and individual contributors embrace change and achieve breakthrough performance. Each live event blends original research with compelling stories that move participants to take action. Ryan has 20 years of business experience working with the world’s best brands to initiate change, inspire innovation and deliver growth. Learn more about Ryan Estis.
Ryan Estis is a Keynote Speaker & Management Consultant blogging about business performance.