How do you avoid sounding “salesy” in your sales presentation?

The popular television show Taxi once featured an episode where Jim Ignatowski (Iggy) decided to become a door to door salesman and introduced himself with “Hello Mr. and Mrs. insert couple’s name here….”

When I talk to sales people about the importance of planning and practicing their presentations many object and express their concern about sounding “salesy.”

It’s an understandable concern. We’ve all received a call from the telemarketer that we knew was reading from a script and few things will turn a prospect off faster.

I’ve written previously about how being prepared was Steve Jobs’ secret to sounding spontaneous and authentic in his presentations. But here is another way to avoid sounding “salesy”…

The body of the sales presentation should be focused on proving to the prospect that you can solve their three biggest problems or help them achieve their three most important goals. This can only be done if you spend the early part of the sales process asking questions and doing your best to understand the prospect’s situation.

Once you do understand the prospect’s problems and goals you can craft a sales presentation that proves to them that you have the solutions to those problems or the strategies to hit those goals. Now your presentation content is focused on exactly what the prospect is most interested in and that  presentation is 100% relevant to that prospect. 

With this approach you are acting much more like a consultant than a salesperson.  World class sales trainer Brian Tracy has written “one particular self-image possessed by high-achieving salespeople is that they see themselves as consultants rather than as salespersons.”

In focusing on the solutions to their specific needs you are now a consultant who is giving the prospect the answers to their most pressing questions.  And there is nothing “salesy” about that.


Want to discuss your next big presentation? Just get in touch.


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