The Green Sheet Online Edition
June 26, 2017 • Issue 17:06:02
Right your presentation ship
What if you make a point to update your industry knowledge regularly, thoroughly research potential prospects, tailor your presentation to suit each prospect's business needs, practice your delivery, show up for appointments on time, dress professionally and act courteously – but you often end up out of breath and without a successful close. What could be going wrong?
One possibility is that you are moving too quickly. You might think the fact that you've tailored you presentation to a particular merchant is enough to keep it from becoming stale. But if you are not pausing long enough to give merchants a chance to respond to what you've said and then answering their questions and concerns with fresh, not canned, responses, you will be driving prospects away instead of drawing them to you.
In Good Selling!SM: The Basics, Paul H. Green wrote, "As you know, merchants must be given the time to voice their opinions, to tell you their objections (so you can resolve them), and to work through their buying decision."
Open the sales door
He offered the following tips, suggesting they would help you "close your mouth and open the door to a sale":
- Relax: You may be nervous and afraid of "the pause." Therefore, you continue to talk to avoid the awkward silence. Don't be. Let the silence sit there so both you and the prospect can process what was said. Give the merchant an opportunity to respond.
- Speak slowly: Again, you may be nervous (or just excited), and have a tendency to speak quickly. Make a conscious effort to slow your speech and speak clearly and precisely. If you run through the presentation at lightning speed, the merchant may miss some of your most important points.
- Choose words carefully: We've all had the experience of speaking with someone who talks a lot but doesn't really say anything. Think about what you say before you say it. Is it necessary? Will it help with the buying decision or the relationship you're trying to nurture?
- Get to the point: Do you use phrases such as, in my opinion, it's been my experience, simultaneously, at the same time? Avoid redundancy and stay with the facts. Filling your speech with unnecessary words wastes your prospects' time and may insult them should they feel you are being redundant because you think they're unable to understand you.
Unfortunately, when it comes to relaxation, telling yourself to relax will sometimes create the opposite effect. To help prevent that situation, here are six tips offered by Lisa B. Marshall in "6 tips to calm your nerves before speaking," posted on QuickandDirtyTips.com.
- Stay hydrated (This will prevent your tongue from going dry).
- Exercise to stay calm (Even a quick stroll releases endorphins and lessens anxiety).
- Try looking at favorite pictures, visualizing pleasant images, or even laughing just before you speak.
- Make a physical change to calm down during the speech (Take deep breaths, shift your weight, or look an audience member in the eye).
- Embrace the energy (Good stress can help clear the mind, use it to engage the audience).
- Be prepared (If you find this difficult, work with a colleague to improve your research and delivery).
Now sail through to your next close.
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