Use a Six Sigma technique to create your sales presentation

In the six sigma process the method used to get to the core of any problem is to ask “why?”

Once you identify a problem you continue to ask “why” until you get to the root of the issue.

For example: Our revenue is down. Why? Because new customer acquisition is down. Why? Because our sales force isn’t closing opportunities in the pipeline, etc

I’d like to suggest a variation of this technique to determine the core of your next sales presentation.

Step one of designing a persuasive sales presentation is to determine the objective. What is it that I want the audience to believe or do as a result of this presentation? In my experience most sales people spend little, if any, time thinking through what they want to achieve with their presentation. As a result, their content lacks focus and can at times leave the prospect more frustrated than persuaded.

In order to develop focused content that will hold the attention of the prospect, as well as persuade them, we must first determine our specific objective. It might be that you want the prospect to agree to see a proposal from you, or you may need to show the customer that you’ve earned a contract renewal, or prove to a group of decision makers that it’s in their best interest to leave their current vendor and transition to you.

Once you have determined your specific objective you must then ask the question “why?” Why should the prospect do what I want them to do or believe what I want them to believe?

This will lead you to determine the three most compelling reasons why the prospect should accept your objective (don’t break the rule of three!). Those three reasons then become the core of your persuasive presentation.

For example, let’s say you’re at the end of the sales process and so your objective is to transition the prospect to your service. Now ask the question “why?” Why should this prospect leave their current vendor for my company? Your three reasons could be that you are able to help them 1) define their sales process 2) improve pipeline visibility 3) increase their close ratio.

If you then support each of those reasons with evidence that proves to the prospect that you can deliver on your promises then you are in position to ask for the business.

Next time you have an opportunity to deliver a presentation to a group of decision makers put serious thought to your objective. Consider what it is that you want the prospect to do. Then ask yourself – “why should they?”

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