BONUS INSIGHTS: Sales Presentation Fundamentals - Coaching Your Salespeople to Engage Their Audience
Are you looking for ways to boost the performance of your salespeople? Here’s how you can coach your team to improve their sales presentation delivery that will have a big impact on their ability to close deals.
Now, I know that some of their deals will be sizable. And they will require detailed supporting documentation on their products or services. But remember that we are talking about salespeople, not the head of state of some small country. The fate of a nation isn’t going to hang on their every word. So, there is no need for them to read their sales presentation from a written script.
I’ve delivered scores of speeches to groups around the country in addition to delivering hundreds of sales presentations to clients. I learned from those experiences that as a speaker, you need the freedom to read the audience and the flexibility to respond to them in real time.
Your sales reps need that same freedom. They need to be aware of questions, issues, and challenges that their prospects might bring up. And like a professional public speaker, they need to be free and agile to respond to the needs of their target audience, also known as their prospects. To do that, they need to be aware of how the audience is responding to their presentation in the moment. And they need to be able to get back on track after addressing these needs. Delivering their sales presentation from a rigid script steals that flexibility away from them.
And their prospects are aware of this.
The Impact Awareness Can Have on Sales Presentation Delivery
Back when I managed a crew selling professional development programs, one of my sales reps asked me if I could join a client meeting. Kelli was in the middle of proposing a solution and she had prepared an outstanding sales presentation for a department manager of a local company. She wanted me there to give her some feedback on her delivery.
When she sat down with the manager, she handed him a copy of the proposal and kept a copy for herself. She then proceeded to read through the proposal as her presentation. After about 2 minutes, the manager stopped her and said, “Don’t read me the proposal. I can do that on my own time. Talk to me about this deal. What is it going to do for me?”
At first, Kelli was a little nervous. She was pushed out of her comfort zone. But when she found her footing, she realized that she knew everything about the company and about the deal she was proposing. At that point, she was able to condense the presentation in real time into a format that was easy to understand. Only then was she able to have a real conversation with the department manager and address his questions as they came up.
Something your people must get comfortable with is that their proposal is not their sales presentation. They need to remember that people buy from people. As such, they need to have a real conversation with their prospects. Don’t let them get comfortable reading their proposal as a delivery crutch the same way a beginning speaker will nervously read their PowerPoint slide deck.
Create A Framework for Your Sales Presentation
So, what’s the solution? What should they do to boost their sales presentation delivery? It’s quite simple. They need to do what professional public speakers do. When you are coaching them through their presentation delivery, have them put their major talking points in an outline form. They can use note cards, PowerPoint slides, whatever they feel comfortable using.
That outline serves as a framework for them to speak about their solution in a way where they can highlight the key points. That will free them to have a real conversation with their prospect. And it puts them in a position where they can adjust their presentation in real time.
Remember, they’ve asked all the important questions during their discovery, and they’ve done their research. They’ve put together a comprehensive solution to address the prospect’s concerns and issues. They are the experts. Help them leverage that power by condensing their proposal into the main points they want to hit. Then, help them use that framework to free up their attention during the presentation delivery and be aware of how their prospects are responding. This will allow them to interact freely with their prospects and build stronger relationships.
In summary, don’t let your salespeople read their proposal from a written copy unless they really need the verbal precision. Instead, help your salespeople make better use of their proposal by highlighting the main points and creating an outline for their presentation delivery. Coach them to control the overall flow of their presentation. Help them remain free to address their audience, making them relatable and approachable. And you will find them closing more deals.
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