Imagine if Churchill’s “We Shall Fight On The Beaches” speech contained such lines as “We’re gonna fight really hard. Hopefully we’ll win but we’ll see.” Not very inspiring, is it? On a smaller scale, imagine your sales presentations including such phrases as “You should buy our product because it’s really good,” or “I, uh, um, am here to, uh, sell you, um, this gadget that, uh…” Your sales record would be on par with Wile E. Coyote’s success rate with the Roadrunner, wouldn’t it?
Last week, I was approached by a door-to-door salesman selling something related to A/C units. His sales pitch was so uneven and untethered and jerky that I almost felt sorry for him. For starters, door-to-door sales is just above parking ticket cop in terms of the public’s affections. I feel for people that have to make their living doing what others detest. I really do. Even so, his presentation was so bad that, had I been interested in whatever A/C part he was selling, I would not have bought from him. Why? He lacked passion for the product. He lacked knowledge about the product. But most importantly, he lacked confidence in his ability to MAKE me feel invested in his product. Before I let him finish his spiel, I informed him that his presentation was weak and needed work. After a moment of silence, I instructed him to move on to the next house.
So what constitutes a “good” presentation? Simple.
Without confidence, you’re a guitar without strings. Your presentation needs to be harmonious and catchy without being too overbearing and loud. Show the potential client that you genuinely love and believe in the product/service you are selling; that feeling, in most cases, is contagious.
- Knowing your product/service.
Assume your potential client is an inquisitive 3-year-old, loaded with questions of why and how. (Note: Do not talk to them as if they ARE a 3-year-old-child.) Be so thorough in your explanation that most of their questions are answered. Knowing your product’s ins and outs is a great way to avoid awkward silences as you search your brain for the right answer (or one that will buy you some time until you can explain your way out of it) to questions that do come up during the course of your presentation.
Without presenting yourself as a likeable and trustworthy person, you’re not behind the 8 ball, you’re UNDER the 8 ball. Few people have the time or the desire to deal with someone they don’t like. And since sales, at its core, is about building relationships, the best foundation to lay is one built on friendliness and courtesy.
Going into a presentation without the proper attitude and preparation is like showing up bare-assed to a formal event. With a little preparation and a little “hell yes” attitude, your formal attire will be pressed and ready to go for any event.