I have spent a lifetime presenting products and services to people and I can tell you that the presentational process is a very fluid one—things can change in a millisecond. If you go in so rigid and focused on what you want to DO or SAY that you don’t reserve the cerebral bandwidth to watch, listen, feel and adjust, you could very well walk away with nothing.
Allow me to explain.
Even if you have flawlessly memorized, internalized and personalized bits and pieces of your presentation, even though you may be an expert at positioning your solution(s), you are never in total control of your prospect. They hardly ever follow your script and the movement of the presentation can ebb and flow. It can speed up, slow down or even stall out. The mood of your prospect can shift from positive to neutral or negative in an instant. It is my experience that a real sales professional is always looking for the little things that can make a HUGE difference as they near the close.
Today I want to share 5 easy to learn methods—little things—that will make a BIG difference in your closing ratio as you present your programs to decision makers.
- Noticing Body Language
Be mindful of the other person’s body language. If you are not an expert in this area (and few of us are) simply start observing what people do around you as they are having conversations. Ask some of these questions:
- Do they look interested? (Leaning forward, focused on the other person)
- Are they relaxed? (Standing or sitting comfortably)
- Do they have a smile on their face? (Laughing, happy)
- Are they fidgeting? (Checking their watch)
It is easy to observe people communicating around you and there is a lot you can learn from your observations and conclusions. When you begin to transfer these skills into your own sales presentations you will want to ask the question, “Is their body language congruent with what they’re saying?” If not, slow down and make sure you ask clarifying questions before you move forward.
2. When They Pause, You Pause
When your prospect pauses they may be searching for a word or phrase or they may be trying to decide whether to tell you something. Resist the urge to jump in. Top sales professionals have the discipline to give their prospects the space and time to clearly articulate what they want to say.
- Feed it Back
When they say something that you know can tie to a need or solution, or if they say something that isn’t completely clear to you, then use the power of paraphrasing. Paraphrase what you just heard them say and feed it back to them. This simple method will let them know you’re listening intently to every word they’re saying and if they meant to say something different, then they’ll clarify their position.
- Ask Them to Define Key Words
Make sure you appropriately clarify the other person’s definition of words that may be emotionally charged or unfamiliar to you. Some words may also seem out of context or, pivotal to the outcome of the conversation. You can do this by the skillful use of a clarifying question.
Here’s an example: (Using the word, ‘cost’)
“Mary, just a moment ago I heard you say that your organization is concerned about the cost of delivering and communicating benefits to employees. Could you please clarify your definition of ‘cost’?”
- When The Conversation Wanders
When presentations wander off course (and they often do) you can successfully use a ‘re-directing’ question during a short pause.
“Robert, earlier we were exploring your organizational goals for 2017, did I understand correctly that you wanted to…”
Again, these methods that seem so small can pay BIG dividends. When you are in the heat of battle it’s way too easy to put on blinders and not recognize that they don’t have a script—their role in the process is fluid and you have to read it. Do me a favor and try a few of these methods at your next opportunity. I think you will like the results.
I hope that you enjoyed this training article. Please give me a shout out below…thumbs UP or thumbs DOWN. I LOVE feedback! Also…if you know of somebody in sales or leadership that can use this, PLEASE SHARE it with them!
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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on direct selling and sales leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his platform, www.joebuzzello.com and The CAP Equation©. Please visit Joe at: http://www.CAPequation.com