The Green Sheet Online Edition
September 25, 2017 • Issue 17:09:02
First, determine your objective
If you're using the same basic presentation with only nominal variations each time you meet with a prospect, it's probably time for you to rethink your approach. Instead of going through what amount to rote motions time after time, consider letting your goal for each meeting determine its shape and focus.
According to Paul H. Green, founder of The Green Sheet and author of Good Selling!SM: The Basics, the first step in preparing for a presentation is to ask what the meeting's purpose is. Possibilities include, for example, to:
- Inform the prospect
- Introduce your company
- Introduce your service
- Get the sale
Not every presentation's goal is to walk away with a closed sale, Green pointed out. "Sometimes, providing all that data about your company, your service, the industry, the need for your service, and asking for the sale is just too much for the prospect to absorb," he wrote.
Green further suggested that to begin the process of tailoring your presentation to your prospect's specific needs, you can ask yourself the following questions:
- Have I met with this person before?
- Has this person met with any of my competitors?
- Have I met with this company in the past, but with a different person?
- What do I want to walk away with?
- What will I settle for?
- Will this presentation be a step in a longer process or is it the entire process?
These obvious questions are sometimes overlooked when focusing on other essential factors to address, such as the target company's merchant vertical, corporate culture and history, current business volume, goals for the future, current POS system and payment processor, particular pain points, etc.
There is no substitute for researching your prospect beforehand to learn as much as you can about the business and identify gaps in your knowledge that you can fill during the meeting. The knowledge you glean about the company through research combined with clarity on what your specific goal for the meeting is should put you in a position to make a good, productive connection with the merchant.
With solid preparation under your belt and a tailored presentation prepared, keep in mind the following tips, offered by Green, which will further improve your success:
- Look your prospect in the eye.
- Use your prospect's name just two or three times during the presentation.
- Avoid the passive voice.
- Open up the floor to comments.
- Listen actively, but don't interrupt.
- Use "we" instead of "I."
- Use "try," "could," or "may" in place of "need," "have to" or "must."
Keep these in mind when preparing for your next presentation so you can make the best impression possible and build your business relationships one unique presentation at a time.
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