Five Thoughts on Sales Presentations:
We are in sales. Period. Even if you do not know it. Every day. All the time.
No matter what your job or business - whether you are in real estate or not.
We are all in sales, marketing and customer service. Building long-term relationships with real people is critical to long-term success, regardless if someone bought or sold with you today. Your reputation is the most important asset you have and it is important that you carefully and thoughfully build your reputation over time.
Sounds basic, right?
As you can imagine, I get a lot of emails from companies trying to sell me products and I get A LOT of sales calls.
Several weeks ago I received an email and then a call from a nameless marketing solutions provider. I was actually interested in learning more about how their product worked. Their sales person was aggressive about getting me on the phone. I took the time to speak with him on my way into work today.
He gave me the pitch. I listened. I wasn't really that interested in the product after I heard about the product. Why? Their marketing suite overlapped with marketing tools we use today. Their social media lead generation requires a change in behaviour, i.e. the product searches public social media feeds and then requires the salesperson or real estate agent to direct message a person on Twitter. Could be interesting, but I am not willing to commit to a year upfront for a new shiny widget. Sound familiar?
So I tried to get off the phone politely. I said, "After hearing what you have, I am not interested right now. I will think about it and I may get back to you."
The salesperson said, "Let's be serious. I am not going to get a call back."
I said, "Like I said, I am not that interested. I probably won't call you back, but I will think about it."
The salesperson then said, "So this was just a WASTE OF TIME for both of us. If you were interested, you would buy TODAY."
I replied, "Whoa. Remember, you emailed ME to get on MY schedule. Then you called ME. And now you are saying that I am wasting YOUR time? I made the time for YOU. I listened to your presentation. You are selling me a product I did not know that I needed. Now you are criticizing ME for not buying TODAY?
If I wasn't going to call you back before, now I am definitely NEVER calling you back. And make sure your company never contacts me either."
We are all in sales, even if you do not know it.
Five Thoughts on Sales Presentations:
1) Every Presentation is a Privilege and an Opportunity: Remember that customer, prospect, and client is taking time out of their day to LISTEN to you. Many times, if not most of the time, that customer or prospect was not seeking you or your product specifically. Treat that customer as unique AND treat that sales opportunity as a privilege.
2) LISTEN more than you speak: When you are a hammer, everything looks like a nail. Or when you sell nails, everyone MUST need nails, right? - not screws, staples, tape or glue. The plain fact is that your product or service WILL NOT be a fit for the vast, vast, vast majority of people you speak with. That is why a great sales person will close 5% of their prospects. That means 95 people out of 100 are not buying. When you hear that a prospect is not interested in your service, certainly explore objections and see if there is additional information you can offer, BUT DON'T GET MAD at a prospect when they don't buy.
3) Most buyers will NOT buy TODAY: There are few $6,000 spur of the moment purchases. I know many salespeople don't like to hear this. Generally a $6,000 purchase is a considered purchase. i.e. That prospect will likely have been thinking about the problem for a long period time. Don't be surprised if they don't buy on the first phone call or presentation (unless there is a risk free offer). Even for the greatest salesperson in the world, if 5 out of 100 will ever buy my product, only one out of five prospect MAY buy TODAY. Don't be upset if someone doesn't buy today. Most prospects and legitimate buyers will not buy today. 99 out of 100 in fact.
4) Offer Service & Education and Not Sales: Use the PRIVILEGE of presentating to a prospect as an OPPORTUNITY to educate your prospects and customers on your product philosophy and specific solution. Provide phenomenal service to the prospect and use education and service as an opportunity to build a relationship. Even though they did not buy today, they may buy in the future. Who knows, they may remember you 10 years from now and buy something else from you or work with you in the next phase of your life.
5) Always BUILD RELATIONSHIPS: Life is long. Memories are equally long. Especially bad memories. Your reputation is an important thing you carry with you through your entire life.
AND DON'T tell someone that he or she wasted your time.
Especially if you are selling.
If you are successful, chances are you are always selling.