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How to Create and Give a Sales Presentation

Digital Library > Defining and Serving a Market > Sales presentations “How to Create and Give a Sales Presentation”

Frequently sales professionals or others involved in the sales process do not adequately prepare for the delivery of the presentation — they just let it happen. How much better will the results be with thorough and careful preparation, as well as an after-presentation critique&#63a

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WHAT TO EXPECT

Creating and preparing an effective sales presentation takes plenty of planning and a whole lot of skill. Frequently sales professionals or others involved in the sales process do not adequately prepare for the delivery of the presentation — they just let it happen. This module will take you through the steps necessary for a successful presentation — from the all too important preparation phase to the often-forgotten critique stage.

Related Modules

In order to get full benefits from the module, you should have a good understanding of the sales process. You may want to refer to the following training modules:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

What You Should Know Before Getting Started

Preparation

  • Know What You are Selling
  • Know Your Competition
  • Know the Customer
  • Know the Market

Developing the Body of Your Presentation

First Impressions

Anticipating Objections

The Sales Delivery

Presentation Aids

Post Presentation

Resources

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE GETTING STARTED

What is a Sales Presentation?

This is a direct and fairly simple question that many sales people may not be able to answer. Each sales professional has their own perception of what a presentation is and how it is constructed. One definition that could be, "A complete sales package that is given to a prospect for the purpose of getting him to commit to purchase a product or service."

The sales presentation should begin long before a sales person meets a prospect. Successful sales people break down their presentations into usable components, with each part becoming an important element in making a successful sale. This doesn’t happen by magic. It takes preparation, and the more prepared the sales person is, the greater the chance of success.

Woodrow Wilson was once asked how long it took to prepare for a ten minute speech and his reply was, "Two weeks." He was then asked how long it took to prepare a speech lasting one hour and he said, "One week." When asked how long it would take to prepare a speech lasting two hours he said, "I’m ready now." Obviously President Wilson preferred longer speeches. Your preparation and attitude will come through immediately to a savvy prospect. The better you know your subject matter and the more prepared you are, the more comfortable you will be during the presentation and the more effective and exciting your selling will become.

The basis for your presentation should be the prospect’s needs and how you intend to solve them. In Presentations Plus, author David A. Peoples says, before preparing a presentation you must ask yourself, "Why are you making this presentation?"

PREPARATION

The first part of the preparation phase is getting organized.You must organize your presentation and materials ahead of time. Make a list of what you need in the way of information and gather what you need, leaving nothing to chance.

The second part of the preparation is a complete and thorough knowledge of:

  • What is being sold
  • The competition
  • The customer
  • The market

Fact-finding and organizing information into a logical order is critical here.

Know What You are Selling

Successful sales professionals know their product or service inside and out. They constantly try to learn more, further their education with new product information and ask questions. They don’t rely on buzz words or "razzle-dazzle." They become familiar enough with their product or service as if it were a part of their body.

When you are presenting your information to a prospect, you must assume they don’t know anything about what you are selling. Your prospect will let you know that he is familiar with the points you are trying to make.

Following are some tips on learning about what you are selling:

  • State the history of the product or service. If your company has made technical advances on the product, note what they are and include them in your presentation. This adds credibility not only to your presentation but also to what you are trying to sell. These advances could be in product development, manufacturing, shipping or new packaging techniques. The better prepared you are on the products and services of your company, the better your presentation will be. Thorough product knowledge will give you the confidence to go after the larger and more difficult prospects. The more you know about what you are selling, the better able you will be to impart this information on your prospects.

  • Detail the history of the company. Perhaps your company started out in a two car garage with 2 people and has grown to an organization with several employees. Prospective customers like to see growth. It gives the impression of success and stability. If the company is being run by second or third generations of the original founders, all the better. This establishes that the company has roots and the owners care about the daily operation of the company and the employees. Don’t be afraid to talk about company values and how they were handed down from generation to generation. This promotes a feeling of warmth, trust and security.

Know Your Competition

You can have a great amount of knowledge about your company and products, but that’s only half the battle. The other half is gaining as much information as possible about the competition. This will go a long way in answering questions and objections from the prospect. In order to give a meaningful presentation, you will have to know who and what you are up against.

  • Learn what type of literature they use to advertise their product or service. Do they use full color brochures? Video tapes? Give-aways? Special discounts?

  • Identify your competitions’ strengths and weaknesses. The prospect can be a good source of this information. Often, the prospect will tell you what he likes or dislikes about the products or services he is using.

  • Find out how often the competition works his territory. On what days does he call on the prospect? Does he make face-to-face calls? Does he rely on the telephone exclusively?

Dissect the competition’s products and compile a list of all the strengths and weaknesses you have discovered. Compare what you are selling to what the competition is selling. When the prospect brings up specific points about the competition’s product or services, you will be ready with an answer that might get you the sale.

There are many sales people who feel that a presentation restricts them rather than helps them. Nevertheless, to be successful you have to plan and present. The better prepared you are, the more successful you will be in selling. A well planned, structured and complete presentation will give you more flexibility in handling objections and a greater percentage of sales closed.

If the client wants to know about long-term stability of your company, you will be prepared to discuss that. If he wants to know about the success of your services and products, you will be prepared to discuss that, as well. If he is interested in price and results, you will be able to show him how your products or services offer value and how they can satisfy his needs.

By being secure in your facts, you will be able to anticipate questions and answer them before they are asked. Confidence in yourself and your abilities as a sales person will increase, and this will show in your presentation. You will make a favorable impression on your prospect, and he in turn, will want to do business with you. He will feel secure with you as a sales person and when a prospect feels secure, they buy!

Another advantage of a well-planned presentation is that you will not forget to talk about the important facts of your products or services. Many a sales person who did not have a well-planned presentation often remembered what he forgot to tell the prospect long after his meeting with the prospect. Also, when the presentation is ad-lib, there is no real structure and it can appear that you are bouncing all over the place, repeating facts and adding to the prospect’s confusion. A well-planned presentation turns prospects into customers.

Know Your Customer

Become acquainted with every aspect of your customer’s business. Get to know how long he has been in business, what his main products or services are, who his big clients are and how successful he has been in meeting their needs. Also, it would be very helpful to learn if your competition has been selling to him. If the competition is in there already, it is extremely important for you to know everything about his product or service. You will be able to compare what you are selling to the competition’s product and perhaps show the benefits of what you are selling to the prospect. But to do that you must know the customer.

Know the Market

If you learn about the market that your prospect is selling into, you can better determine how you can help him achieve his goals. This will be a very important selling point for you.

DEVELOPING THE BODY OF YOUR PRESENTATION

Now, you are ready to create a rough outline of your presentation. Sales presentations typically include an introduction, definition of the project or need, a discussion of the approach, benefits of your product/service, and the cost associated with doing the work.

Step 1. Prepare an introduction which discusses the nature of your prospect’s need. In this part of your presentation you should indicate how your presentation is organized. It will be to your advantage to keep the message warm and tailored to the prospect but at the same time convey that you have a thorough understanding of your prospect’s need. Do not use overly solicitous statements such as "We are truly grateful for the opportunity to propose…" These statements immediately impact the leverage that you have with the prospect — he becomes the superior, you the subordinate. Remember, this presentation must present you as the expert — one who your prospective client is fortunate enough to hire to satisfy his needs.

If you are a management consultant, your introduction may start:

"Over the past 20 years, Management Inc. has assisted over a hundred companies in improving their productivity. Like these companies, Trailer Courier Service is looking to streamline operations and eliminate wasteful functions. In the following proposal, we’ll discuss our approach to achieve higher productivity, identify benefits associated with these higher efficiencies, and…"

Discuss the current situation or your understanding of the client’s problem or need. This is really the problem identification section. Make sure you are very clear on what the needs of your client are. Identifying the problem or opportunity up front lays the groundwork for the rest of the presentation.

For instance, if you are a daycare center soliciting corporate accounts, your introduction may begin, "In the past decade a trend has evolved where more and more mothers are returning to the workforce. However, not much has changed to provide these mothers with reliable and affordable child care. When Mom can’t rely on suitable care for her child, your organization can’t rely on Mom…"

Identify the current opportunity or problem. Make sure you understand the situation clearly. Can you expand on the definition, demonstrating how you may add further value to the organization?

Step 2. Next, introduce the objectives and scope of work that your prospect can expect. Describe what you will do and give an accurate time-frame for delivery or completion of key items. Be aggressive, but realistic. This is not the time to make promises on which you can’t deliver. Your prospect will be suspicious. He wants someone he can rely on, someone he can trust. This may be the first contact with this prospect, but your intent is to make him a long-term customer. And if you’re fortunate enough to land the assignment, you’ll gain the trust and respect of your client by under-promising and over-delivering.

If you are a catering service, your objectives and scope would be, "To provide high quality foods and service at a reasonable price for the Jones wedding on September 18. Key tasks would include:

  1. Planning the menu June 6
  2. Ordering the food and supplies August 12
  3. Arranging for flowers September 1 (etc.)

Define your objectives and scope.

Next, list the basic steps of your approach.

Step 3. Now it’s time to fill in the details of your approach. Make sure you provide enough detail so that the prospect can understand it clearly, but keep it broad enough so that it doesn’t inadvertently narrow his options or disclose your recommendations. For instance, if the prospect is looking to overhaul his accounting system, describe the process you’ll use in evaluating the best system, but don’t offer any preliminary suggestions at this time. He may have already investigated the option and discarded it for reasons unknown to you or, worse still, take the suggestion and do it himself.

Also, when you describe your approach, include the result, or deliverables, with each step. This is what your client gets upon completion of each step. The deliverable signals the end of one step and the beginning of the next. However, all steps do not need a deliverable, just the key ones. Providing deliverables is an effective method for gauging progress on a project. Deliverables provide evidence that work is being completed and is a valuable mechanism to use when managing large projects for both the customer and supplier. Deliverables can be either goods or services. For instance, if you are a consultant, you may provide a progress report, either orally or written, upon the conclusion of key steps in a project. On the other hand, if you are a building contractor building a home, an appropriate deliverable may be completion of a room or system (plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, etc.).

Think about your presentation.

Take each of the basic steps and develop the details of your approach. Where appropriate, include deliverables.

Step 4. Next, describe the benefits the prospect can expect from your products or services. This is a critical part of your sales presentation. This is not the time to withhold information — present any possible upside that your product/service can provide. Don’t stretch to the ridiculous, but do be sure you exhaust all the major benefits. When creating your list of benefits, always keep in mind what you can do to make your prospect successful, how you can make him look good. Pay special attention to his role, responsibilities, and level in the organization when developing your list.

For example, if you are selling a manager on an upgraded telephone system, make sure you know what his key challenges are (maybe reliability and cost) and stress how your system overcomes them (high consumer confidence ratings, modular features, etc.) If, however, you don’t know who the decision-maker is, it’s best to tie the benefits of your product/service into the overall goals of the organization.

You may have to do a little research. If the company has an active advertising campaign, find magazines or trade journals that the company may be advertising in. What are their claims? Who are they targeting? If they are a public company, get a copy of their annual report. In it you’ll find the company’s key initiatives. Your library may have a copy of one, or you can call the company directly. A reference librarian can also help you with a search of magazines and newspapers for current articles written about the company. If you come up empty after that, virtually all organizations have goals for growth and profitability so tie your benefits into how your product/service can increase market share, increase sales, decrease costs, improve productivity, etc.

For example, if you are a new travel agency looking for commercial accounts, your presentation should be full of how you might save money for your clients — getting the best deals on air fare, hotels, rental cars; offering value-added services that your clients currently must do; suggesting scheduling alternatives that cut travel costs, etc.

Just remember, your presentation will have a better probability of success if you present it in a perspective familiar to the prospect, showing how your approach will enable him or the overall organization achieve his/their goals. When properly done, your benefits will implicitly justify why your goods or services should be used by the prospect. This may be stated as a final product or proposed outcome of the project. Use statements such as "Using our state-of-the-art manufacturing process…," or "We will rely on our thirty-five years in the business to…"

A word about features and benefits — People buy a product or service because they either need or want to. In order to create a need or a want, you must promote the benefits of using your product or service. Many business owners promote the features of their business and neglect to point out how the product or service will benefit the customer. Features enable the product or service to perform its function. Benefits are the results a person receives from using the product or service.

For example,a feature for a local printer may be 24 hour service. The benefit to the customer may be increased flexibility and faster turnaround. The customer is more interested in how you can help him (the benefits), not necessarily the details of your service (the features).

List the key benefits of your product or service.

Next, write down what your prospect’s goals may be. Tie your benefits to your prospect’s goals.

Now develop the benefit section of your presentation, making sure that you are writing it from your prospect’s perspective.

Step 5. Now it’s time to present the cost for your product or services. Where you state this information in your presentation is extremely important. ABSOLUTELY do not include the cost at the beginning before you have had a chance to fully explain your approach and the resulting benefits. Any good fisherman knows the importance of the initial stages in luring a prize catch. Likewise, your prospect has to know what he is buying before he’s willing to spend his money. If you include the costs too early in the presentation, it may immediately put off your prospect and cause him to reject the sale before he has a chance to understand its impact fully.

Your estimate of charges for goods or services should be as detailed as possible so there will be no misunderstanding when the goods or services are delivered. If you’re quoting on a large project, break the project up into stages, providing the details of these costs.

For example, if you are installing a new computer system, this section may begin:

1. Evaluate hardware options 100 man-hours $10,000
2. Select and order hardware 1/3 cost upfront $60,000
3. Install hardware $60,000 200 man-hours $20,000
4. Debug system 1/3 cost $60,000 100 man-hours $10,000
5. Train 50 man-hours $5,000
TOTAL $225,000

Your prospect does not want to be surprised with hidden costs once he has accepted your proposal. Remember, you want to turn this prospect into a long-term customer. Disclose all potential costs even if you can’t quantify them upfront. There will be costs over which you have no control. Plan for them and let your prospect know what they are. Most likely, your client will have a limited budget that he is operating within.

For example, if your phone system installation requires a significant amount of travel (but you’re not quite sure how much or what the airlines will be doing at that time), you may want to quote for installation plus travel (i.e., $100,000 for installation plus reasonable travel expenses).

Be assured this does not free you from properly managing those costs; it communicates, however, that there are additional costs that must be budgeted for. Keep in mind that surprises have a knack of eroding even the best of relationships.

Determine the costs for your proposal. Have you included all costs?

Step 6. Finally, you’re at the end of your presentation. Here, you want to remind the prospect why you are the best choice for the job. This is a good time to do some of your own PR. Make sure you have a qualifications statement in which you say why you are qualified to do the job for the prospect. Include a corporate history, background of principals in your company and describe your facilities.

It might start something like this, "As the largest cycle manufacturer in the US for the past 40 years, TRED has supplied over 10,000 leasing businesses with over 10 million bikes…"

A starting date or delivery date may also be helpful and could make the difference in getting the order or not. It is important to strike a balance here — if you can "start immediately", the client may feel that you are not busy, and he may conjure up his own reasons of why that is. On the other hand, if you put a start/delivery date too far out, you run the risk of cooling off a hot prospect. The best advice is to use your best judgment along with the information you already know about your prospect. If they needed it yesterday, you’ll know what to do.

End your presentation with a closing paragraph which contains a statement of interest in doing the work for the prospective client. This part can also be used to restate the benefits of doing business with your company. For instance, "All the employees at TRED are dedicated to the highest of quality standards in product and in service. Our free overnight delivery service means no spare part inventory for you…"

Step 7. Close your presentation. Promote why your company is the best selection. Repeat the significant benefits that your prospect will receive.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

When you first meet someone, how long does it take you to size him up and decide whether you like him or not? Well, it’s a two-way street. Your prospect will be sizing you up before you make your first statement, just as you will be with him. To maximize your chances for a good first impression, walk into the meeting confident, holding your head and body erect, keeping a smile on your face and making good eye contact.

People like doing business with people they like. This is an opportune time to find out about your prospect’s interests, his family, what he does when he’s not working. Selling is about relationships. It’s about trusting the person who’s making the sale. It’s about caring for the customer who’s making the purchase. When you know the "person," it provides you with many opportunities to reinforce the message that you care for the "customer."

For example, if you know his birthday, send him a card to celebrate it. If he’s a sports enthusiast, treat him with tickets to his favorite sporting event. Remember, sales have been won simply because the customer liked the sales professional.

Never start a presentation saying, "I won’t take too much of your time," or "I really appreciate your taking time from your busy schedule to see me." Create leverage with your prospect. You are there to help him; you are there as an asset. And never tell him that you "have all day." Quite possibly he doesn’t. Introduce yourself, your company and product or service.

ANTICIPATING OBJECTIONS

Another key component of your sales presentation is how well you can anticipate and handle the prospect’s objections. It doesn’t matter how well prepared your presentation is, nor how well you have rehearsed it, the prospect is still liable to throw you a curve ball. When you review your presentation and get to a point where you think there might be an objection, write the objection down on a separate piece of paper. Continue doing this until you think you have found all of the objections possible and answer them.

When this exercise is completed, give the presentation to a friend or colleague and ask him to think up objections to your presentation. Compare notes. Has he found other objections that you never thought of? Answer these objections and include them as part of your presentation in the form of positive statements.

For example, "The widgets I have been getting from XYZ, made from the same material as your widgets, seem to rust within three months after we receive them. I can’t live with that."

Answer, "We dip our widgets in a non-corrosive coating instead of spray-painting them to eliminate the possibility of rusting."

For more information on handling objections, you may want to refer to the module How to Identify and Overcome Objections.

THE SALES DELIVERY

This is the actual communication between the sales person and the prospect. Remember, it is not always what you say to the prospect, but how you say it that makes an impression on the prospect. During your presentation, there will be times when you must convey confidence, compassion and concern for the prospect and his needs. If you can do this well, you can often establish a strong bond with your prospect.

For your sales delivery to be most effective, follow these important tips:

  • If your sales presentation requires that you give a talk, write it down, verbatim. Script your presentation, commit it to memory and then practice the delivery and refine your presentation. You can then work on the tone that is needed — humor, concern, empathy, or any other emotions that you feel are appropriate. Practice pacing yourself and use clear, crisp enunciation. Use your hands and arms to emphasize a point. Don’t be afraid to change the pitch of your voice to emphasize a point. Practice the delivery in front of a friend or another sales person and have him critique your delivery and make any changes that are required.

  • Always speak in a confident tone of voice, at a good pace and very deliberately. If you feel uneasy during any part of the presentation, it helps to take a deep breath and proceed from there.

  • Be sure that the prospect is following what you are saying. Ask if he has any questions if you feel you are losing him. Keep your enthusiasm up, and it will keep the prospect interested in what you are saying.

  • If you are planning a demonstration as part of your presentation, design it step-by-step. When you think you have it down, give a "dry-run" demonstration to a friend or colleague. Ask them to role play as customer, asking you questions.

For more information on presentations, you may want to refer to the training module How to Develop Powerful Presentation Skills.

PRESENTATION AIDS

To supplement your knowledge of the products and services and how they will satisfy the prospect’s needs, you might consider using audiovisual materials. They can be tremendously effective for any presentation if they are used properly. Studies have been conducted and findings show that people are more likely to be persuaded if visual aids are used. They can be used to emphasize key concepts, illustrate important points, lend support to the presentation and clarify information.

On the down-side, however, audiovisual aids can also overpower your presentation and detract from the message. This is especially true if you’re uncomfortable with it or you find yourself explaining the audio visual message. Presentation aids should enhance, not distract, and they shouldn’t be so slick as to confuse the prospect on the intended message.

The most important visual aid is your product or service. Whenever possible, show the product or examples of your service to the prospect instead of a photograph, video or slide presentation of product. Let the audiovisual presentation appeal to the prospect’s senses of sight and sound, and let the actual product or service bring the presentation together. The audiovisual presentation should not be a substitute for a walking, talking, breathing, thinking sales person. Use them as additions to your presentation but never as the entire presentation.

If you decide on an audiovisual presentation, either use your own equipment or make preparations with your prospect to use his. In any case, check out the equipment before the presentation. If it’s yours, you can do this at your office. If you’re using someone else’s equipment, plan to arrive with enough time to check theirs. There’s nothing worse than getting to a prospect’s location and discovering that the equipment is not functioning. This is especially disastrous if you are relying heavily on the audiovisual presentation and do not have your own presentation honed as a back-up. Carry spare bulbs, extension cords, and duplicate videotapes. Plan for the worse. If your audiovisual presentation cannot be given due to an equipment malfunction, be prepared to give a stand-up presentation in its place.

A list of commonly-used presentation aids follows:

  • The product itself. When possible bring the product along with you to the presentation. If it is too large, bring photographs of the product being used and be prepared to talk about its various features and benefits.

  • Videotape. This is the least cumbersome of any visual aid, and you can easily carry back-up tapes. A well- prepared and professionally produced video is an effective audiovisual aid. A key video featuring your products or services guarantees that the prospect will be exposed to the points that you want to make. Prospects seldom take phone calls or allow interruptions during a video presentation. The use of special effects can enhance the message. The cost for this presentation will vary depending on what you want your message to be, whether it will require one camera or a two camera shoot, the type and length of the script developed and the production company you choose. Always aim for a broadcast quality video. Never use a hand-held video camera, and never try to do the video yourself. Spend the money to get it done right. The video will pay for itself over the long haul. Remember, this will be a representation of your company. If your video looks shoddy, so may the opinions be of your company.

  • Slide presentations. An advantage of a slide presentation is that you can personalize your presentation for each prospect. This medium is effective when you are showing graphs and charts which you can explain to the prospect. A disadvantage of this type of slide presentation is that you are not able to easily interject comments. Another disadvantage is that the equipment can be cumbersome. Temperature and humidity can affect the operation of the slides in a carousel. Then there’s the projector bulb that always seems to burn out during your presentation. If you decide to utilize slides in your sales presentation, be prepared to bring extra bulbs if you’re using your equipment or make arrangements for a spare if you’re using someone else’s. Arrive early so you can set up properly. Again, plan for the worst. If you are unable to use your slides for any reason, make sure you can deliver your presentation without slides. Finally, a suitable viewing surface at times may be hard to find.

  • Overhead transparencies. This is an inexpensive and effective way to give a presentation to your prospect. You can project a testimonial letter, samples of your current ad campaign, equipment specifications, competitive analysis or charts and graphs, for little more than the cost of a photocopy. The use of overhead transparencies should support your presentation and not be used to merely repeat what you are saying. If the prospect doesn’t have an overhead projector, you may have to lug your own around.

  • Desk-top presentations. Using a self-standing flip chart with key words on the back of preceding panels can aid you in your delivery. This approach will prevent fewer problems than any of the others…as long as you don’t leave the flip chart at your home or office. The desk-top approach can be designed to coincide with the presentation and should contain from ten to thirty plastic sheets with your information presented in an outline form while you fill in the blanks. If prepared correctly, in no time at all, you can get the key points of your presentation across to the prospect allowing plenty of time for any questions that he might have.

POST PRESENTATION

After the presentation, it’s valuable to review what took place — not only what went wrong, but what you did right as well. Analyze each part of the presentation from the opening to the close. Take everything into account from the physical setting to your performance. If possible, get some feed back from the prospect. Think about what you would do differently next time. If you complete an analysis after each presentation, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful salesperson. Following is an exercise from Charles R. Whitlock that will help you to determine if you are communicating effectively. On a separate sheet of paper, number from one to twenty-three.

Consider each of the following twenty-three statements and write, "Always," "Some of the time," or "Don’t think about it" by each number.

  1. I recognize that communication is hard work.
  2. I know what must be said before I speak or write.
  3. I identify which method of communication (in person, over the telephone, in writing) is best to have my message fully understood.
  4. I think about my audience — who they are, what their level of interest is likely to be and what their level of understanding is.
  5. I identify my prospect’s problems and offer solutions to those problems.
  6. Prior to every presentation, I practice positive self-imagery to clear my mind of fears.
  7. I am prepared when I make presentations.
  8. I choose the right words for the subject and the audience and avoid the use of slang and jargon if it is inappropriate.
  9. I select the audiovisuals most appropriate for each occasion.
  10. I begin each presentation with a statement of purpose that is attention-getting.
  11. I speak with confidence and authority.
  12. I let each customer know how much I appreciate the opportunity to meet with him or her.
  13. I try to be interesting.
  14. I am aware of the physical environment and its impact whenever I communicate.
  15. I look for feedback from customers and business associates.
  16. I listen with the same level of interest that I want given to me.
  17. I listen for both context and content.
  18. I seek a common understanding when communicating.
  19. I am patient and listen when others are speaking, even if they are communicating ideas that are contrary to my own.
  20. When communicating, I keep my points pertinent to the task at hand.
  21. I am aware of non-verbal cues from my prospects and customers.
  22. I am conscious of the impression that I make on others.
  23. I maintain good eye contact with individuals, whether one-on-one encounters or in meetings or when making a presentation to more than one person.

To determine your score, give each statement a score based on the corresponding values assigned below:

"Always" = 1 point,

"Some of the time" = 2 points,

"Don’t think about it" = 3 points.

If your score is 28 or less, you are a superb communicator.

If your score is between 29 and 44, you probably are an effective communicator some of the time, but when communicating, you should consider those items that you rated 2 or 3 more often than you are currently doing.

If your score is 45 or more, you may misdirect or misinform when you communicate.

Be serious about improving your communications skills. Find books, audio tapes, and videos specializing in listening and speaking techniques. Take notes and practice what you’ve learned.

With the help of this module, you will be in an excellent position to develop and implement an effective sales presentation and start closing those big sales.

Good Luck!

RESOURCES

Books

  1. Creating & Delivering Winning Advertising & Marketing Presentations, 2nd edition, by Sandra Moriarty and Tom Duncan. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC Business Books, 1995.
  2. Winning Group Sales Presentations: A Guide to Closing the Deal, by Linda Richardson. Homewood, IL: Dow-Jones Irwin, 1990.
  3. Close More Sales!: Persuasion Skills that Boost Your Selling Power, by Mike Stewart. New York: AMACOM, 1999. Part VI: “Powerful Presentations Create Credibility, Confidence and Conviction.”
  4. New Sales Speak, by Terri L. Sjodin. New York: Wiley, 2001.

Writer: Felice Philip Verrecchia

All rights reserved. The text of this publication, or any part thereof, may not be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the publisher.

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“Bring ‘em Back” Strategies to keep customers loyal to your business. Repeat business is critical to your company’s success, but the trick is to find out what entices customers to return again and again.Try this: Remove your entrepreneur’s hat for a moment and take the role of customer. Think of one product or service that you’ve bought lately, then answer

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To score success, you must be willing to make mistakes

Remember Chicken Litter? I’m not surprised; it got about as far off the ground as a hen in flight. But without it, there might never have been a Kitty Litter, which revolutionized life for pet owners and earned me more than a few dollars in the process.I was in my 20s, laboring in my father’s sand and gravel business, and chafing to climb out of the rut we seemed to be in. When my father started buying crumbled clay to use as an industrial oil and grease absorbent, I looked for other ways to use the material. One day, I was talking to a guy about nesting chickens, and the Big Idea kicked in.

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How to Expand Your Business Through New Product Development

Adding new products or services to your current offerings can serve as the catalyst that drives your business to higher levels of success. New product development doesn’t have to be a long and costly endeavort

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