If the prospect of a sales meeting with a new client has you applying extra deodorant in the morning, just remember: If you believe in your business, it’s easier for you to convince the client to believe as well. With that in mind, there are some things you can do to make sure your presentation goes smoothly. These four tips are sure to make your sales presentation a winner:
- Do your homework: Once the time and place of the presentation are confirmed, it’s time to learn as much as you can about who you’re actually meeting with. A simple web search can reveal a lot—you can learn where the person went to school, their hobbies, their previous jobs and even what they look like. Knowing something about the person can be helpful in sparking conversation.
- Do more homework: Researching the company you’re pitching to is crucial. You should know who their competitors are, and also what those competitors do right and what they do wrong. Are there some current concerns the company has that your product or service would help with? Are there any economic threats you should make the company aware of? Conduct a thorough search of the company’s website to find out about the key management players and the company culture. Have an idea how your product or service fits in.
- Prepare your visuals. No one wants to stare at a talking head. Today’s clients expect professional visuals in your presentation and might even want a copy to keep. Come prepared with your own equipment and double check that the room you’ll be in has a screen, cabling and whatever you need to make your technology work. Do you need wireless access? Come early and test the connection strength so you can make other arrangements if it’s not going to work.
- Steer clear of the same old, same old. Clients (especially if they’re meeting with lots of new companies) get “presented” to a lot and don’t want to hear the same old pitches. Jumping right in and skipping the chitchat about the weather shows your respect their time. But follow their cues; if they want to chat, join in. According to sales guru Mike Brooks, other faux pas to avoid are:
- Don’t use the phrase “Things of that nature.” Really, what does that even mean? It sounds like you don’t have a handle on what you’re talking about or you don’t have the exact information you need.
- You might not be meeting with the decision maker, but that doesn’t mean you should trivialize the influence of the people you’re meeting with. Remember, the decision maker will trust their employees more than they trust you. When you’re done, make sure to ask if anyone has any questions or concerns you can clear up.
- You might not always know the answer to a question, but you need to make sure you don’t sound unprepared. Say something like: “That’s a great question for my IT team. Let me see what they would propose and get back with you.”
- Instead of asking when you can expect an answer, tell them you’ll check back in a day or so to follow up. Even better, ask for another appointment to provide answers to tany new questions that might arise.
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