Presenting Your Solution in a B2B Sales Meeting – A Map for Success
But, before you walk in with that presentation, let’s go back and be certain that you have “covered” all of the bases leading up to this presentation. All of those “bases” should drive the presentation that you are making.
The Initial Conversation or Sales Meeting
Go back to your notes from your initial sales call/meeting. During that time, you should have asked some very pointed questions and should have spent a great deal of time listening to the prospect. From that meeting, you should have identified the following:
- What is the problem or issue that has caused the prospect to consider a purchase from you? Be certain that this problem or issue is exactly what you are addressing in your presentation.
- What is the goal of the prospect in purchasing your product or service? Is it a piece of equipment that will streamline production? Is it to improve employee morale and reduce absenteeism? Be certain to speak to the goal in your presentation.
Content of Your Presentation – Part I
- Remember that you are selling a solution and a benefit, not a piece of equipment of a consulting package.
- Your presentation must speak to exactly how the purchase is going to bring value to the organization and solve the issue(s) you and the prospect have identified together.
- And, of course, the ultimate value is this: the purchase of your product or service is going to result in more business growth and/or profit. You must tie you solution to that ultimately.
The first part of your presentation will address the 3 areas listed above, and you should use PowerPoint to present the solution . Why? Because visual presentations are far more impactful and memorable than printed ones in which the prospect can get lot in the text and really not be motivated to read a lot of content.
Here is how this works best:
Suppose you are an HR consultant and the problem/issue is employee morale and high rate of absenteeism and turnover. The prospect knows that these conditions are expensive and result in far less productivity. The obvious goal is to increase morale and lower the rate of absenteeism and turnover. You have a consulting package that addresses these very situations.
Your PowerPoint presentation should consist of slides that begin with the goal and then address each of the specific issues within the larger problem. So, you might have a slide that addresses just morale improvement. You may then list the activities in your package that successfully improve morale and that will generate the recommendations to the organization for changes it must make as well. The slides should have as little text as possible, because your verbal explanation will provide the detail, as you move through them.
If you have solid statistics to show success in other similar organizations, these should be presented, perhaps in graphical form, and name that organization if you have permission to do so. Visual representations of results are really impactful.
One really important point here: If you are a salesperson, you know that your enthusiasm is absolutely critical during a sales presentation. It is somewhat contagious and you want your prospect to be excited about what s/he is seeing. Practicing your presentation in advance will really help, because you will be far more “seasoned” and smooth, and you can focus on that enthusiasm.
Be certain that you solicit questions from your prospect all along the way, and stop and listen to any comment s/he may make. You want this presentation to be as collaborative as possible – the prospect must feel a part of this meeting too!
What Will Not Work During a Sales Presentation
Here is a list of things to avoid during the sales presentation:
- Not having visuals is a huge mistake. The more senses involved when receiving information, the better that information is received. When your prospect can see and hear both, everything is more memorable.
- Do not ever get into “lecture” mode. No prospect wants to be back in a classroom. This is an interactive sessions with lots of engagement on the part of your prospect.
- Don’t be too formal and do not be too casual. You have to find the right balance based upon the prospect. If the work environment is really casual and your prospect is in jeans, obviously you will be more informal. The opposite is also true.
- Do not talk price during this part of the presentation. Your pricing and your negotiations and “wiggle room” must come later. Your goal now is to get the prospect excited about what you bring to the organization.
Content of Your Presentation – Part II
The second part of your presentation involves the written proposal with the pricing included. You will want to go through this briefly with the prospect at this point, dependent upon the amount of time s/he has.
If you are able to spend the time at this point, you will want to listen very carefully for the FUD’s – fears, uncertainties, and doubts. If you are smart, you will have prepared for these types of “objections” in advance - express empathy, and answer them with confidence.
It is also at this point that you will want to present your references – on a separate sheet of paper inserted into your proposal. Encourage your prospect to contact these references.
Pricing: Know in advance what you can offer in terms of discounts, free trials, or modifications to reduce the cost, if this is raised as an objection.
Closing the Deal
Your prospect may not be able or willing to make a decision at this point. S/he may need to speak with others, or may be receiving other proposals. Accept this graciously and try to nail down a time when you can meet again – as soon as possible. Be certain that you reiterate that you would welcome any calls or emails if there are questions n the meantime.