Learn These 8 Steps to Outstanding Sales Structure
The structure of your sales presentation is the skeleton under the flesh of your words. These eight simple, powerful steps to your sales presentation increase your chance to make the sale.
Even if you have made a compelling presentation, it often takes weeks or months before you get a response. Consequently, the goal is to burn vivid examples and key ideas into your prospect’s mind. You don’t want them to forget what makes you different from your competition. This is especially important if you are one of several individuals or teams competing for the same business.
The challenge is to design and deliver your presentation to be remembered and repeated.
Unfortunately, the average presentation structure reminds me of old-world selling.
“Hi, I am Fred Smith. Let me introduce you to my team: Tom, Dick, and Harriette. Thank you for your time.
We are from the ABC company. This is what we do: This is how long we have been in business:
This is what we are known for: These are the clients we do business with: We would like to work with you.”
That is a dreary, who cares presentation at its worst.
So, what’s a more effective structure? Take these eight steps to create one that is focused on the potential client:
Begin with a comment about something they are proud of, that shows you have done your homework:
- “Congratulations on the success of your recent product launch.”
- “Your latest advertising campaign is spectacular.”
- “Your stock price is up three points when most of the market is down. Your strategy is sound.”
Introduction to their problem, challenge, or opportunity.
This is not the time to mention your product or solution. A better approach is to structure your presentation around their problems, challenges, or opportunities. These come from conversations and interviews you had before this more formal presentation.
- “Based on our earlier conversations, you mentioned that your biggest problem is . . .”
- “Your immediate challenge is . . .”
- “Your greatest opportunity is . . .”
Differentiate from your competition.
Everyone else thanks prospects for their time, so don’t do that. Instead, say:
- “Thank you for the opportunity to discuss how our company (be specific with your service or product) can help you accomplish your goals.”
- “To minimize your risk in . . .”
- “To expand your markets in . . .”
- “To demonstrate how our technology will solve . . .”
Thank and make heroes of your contacts.
If you have a champion or have interacted with individuals who have helped prepare you for the meeting or taken you through the discovery process, it is appropriate now to thank them.
- “Thank you, Mike and Theresa, for your generosity of time and knowledge to help us understand the ABC Company’s goals, successes, and opportunities.”
- “In the next 30 minutes (60 minutes, three hours), you will hear (learn, discover, see demonstrated) how our solution (company, technology, unique methodology) can help you achieve your goal.”
- Never say, “I am going to talk about . . .” or “What I would like to do . . .”
Provide examples, experience, and social proof.
Knowing about your product or service is not enough. Your prospect must understand how it could improve their business. They must be convinced that you are not just a sales professional, but a trusted advisor and partner in their increased success. Tell about satisfied clients through stories and case histories.
Review your key ideas.
This can be accomplished with a rhetorical question or simple statement based on your premise:
- “How can the ABC Company accomplish your goals/ overcome your challenges/take advantage of the opportunities.”
- “As you heard from our client examples, our approach to help you accomplish your goals . . .”
- “Our technology will increase your efficiency by . . .”
- “Our training can improve your . . .”
Head into the close with confidence, not a question.
One mistake many of your competition make is closing with questions. No. No. No. You need to close on a high and let your last words linger. Make sure they’re yours. The warmup to that is a question: “Based on what you have heard, what are your specific questions?” After you answer their questions and minimize objections, your goal is to drive the sale forward. Depending on the complexity of your offering or the number of people involved, you may want to say something like this:
- “At this point, our most logical next step is . . .”
- “At this point, does it make sense to you to . . .”
- “At this point, our best clients elect to . . .”
Reinforce your key idea or benefit.
Your last words are arguably some of the most important ones you’ll say. Good copywriters will tell you they often write the P.S. of a sales letter first, because it confirms the key idea in the letter. Your approach might sound something like this:
“Again, thank you for the opportunity to demonstrate how our approach could be what you have been searching for. We look forward to our next meeting. In your discussions, remember the results of (another successful client). You have the security of knowing we pioneered this industry.”
Depending on the situation, you could also talk about how you are “nimbler than our competition,” “a one-stop shop,” or “can get started as soon as you say yes.”
Most professionals are fairly smooth when they get into the body of their presentation. Very few, however, know how to open and close effectively and memorably. Take these eight steps and apply or adapt what is appropriate to your situation. Script your opening and concluding remarks for specificity and brevity. You are not going to read them but instead should work from an outline. In the middle of the night, if your spouse elbowed you and asked, “How are you going to open and close next week’s sales presentation,” your automatic response needs to be exactly what you will say.
If you are looking for a fast and effective way to drive more sales check out FrippVT Sales
“To watch how our veteran group of salespeople became involved in your Storytelling to Increase Sales was impressive. We are excited to continue your training with FrippVT Sales.” Jeff Walters, Vice President, North American Sales, Peak-Ryzex
“We consider the investment in Patricia’s coaching a ‘must-have’ part of our events. Since Patricia has been working with our expert technical presenters our customers rate their performances superb.” Greg Smith, Vice President, Product Marketing, Nutanix
Good luck with your sales presentations. Let me know if I can help.
Companies that want to drive sales and gain a competitive edge hire Patricia Fripp to help them improve their important conversations and presentations. Kiplinger’s Personal Finance wrote, “One of the best ways to invest in success is to learn presentation skills from Patricia Fripp.” Fripp was named one of the “Top 25 Women in Sales” and is among the “Top 30 Coaching Gurus.”