3 reasons to put a sales presentation in your sales conversation

When beginning a training session on sales presentation skills attendees often say to me “but I don’t deliver sales presentations – I just have conversations.”

I typically tell these sales representatives that they need to put their sales presentation into their sales conversation and that those key elements of the conversation should be planned and practiced as well.  As Winston Churchill once said “I’m busy preparing my impromtu remarks”

Here’s why we should plan the key elements of our sales conversations:

First, just as with a formal sales presentation, you’ll be astounded at how much more effective your delivery is if you have practiced what you plan to say. Some advance planning will give you the ability to bring up a relevant customer anecdote, an appropriate customer quote or an insightful industry statistic for each prospect you meet with. And you’ll deliver the information with the kind of comfort and confidence that the prospect will find highly persuasive.

Next, you will significantly reduce the number of times you find yourself sitting in the car after the sales call, smacking yourself in the forehead and saying “I can’t believe I forgot to say….” When you have your key points planned and practiced there is very little chance that you leave the prospects office wishing you could go back and tell him about that key statistic that relates directly to his problem or the story about the existing client who had the same issue until your company solved it.

Finally, many of you will ask, isn’t listening the most important aspect of a sales conversation? Another advantage to practicing the key persuasive points of your sales conversation is that rather than spending energy trying to think about what you’re going to say next, and as a result not listening closely to our prospect,  you can listen attentively to your prospect because you have your key points well rehearsed and at top of mind.

I’m not suggesting that we can plan and rehearse every aspect of our sales conversations. The prospect may make some turns that we don’t expect and we’ll have to leave the plan and think on our feet. There should be a natural flow to the conversation and the prospect, of course, doesn’t know they are on the receiving end of a planned and practiced delivery. But they are. And because they are that sales conversation becomes dramatically more effective and persuasive.

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