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Sales presentations: 5 key ways to distinguish yourself from the competition

September 5, 2012 by Ken Dooley
Posted in: communication, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Industry Spotlight - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing

Vince Lombardi believed that to be great, you had to be great at fundamentals like blocking and tackling, so they were the primary focus of his Green Bay Packers’ practices.

The same principle applies to sales presentations. Salespeople who execute the fundamentals well put themselves in the best position to close sales.

How can they distinguish themselves from the competition when what they’re offering is so similar? That’s the most critical question they can ask as they prepare to deliver a competitive sales presentation.

Setting themselves apart

Setting themselves apart from the competition is hard, especially in today’s tough market. How can they make the prospect see that their solution is the best choice while the competition claims similar capabilities?

Here are five presentation pointers that will help salespeople stand out in the eyes of prospects:

  1. Focus on the prospects’ business problems. Prospects are not interested in your firm’s history or your business experience. They are primarily interested in what you can do to help them solve their business problems. The best presentations propose a solution. A recent study shows that less than a quarter of sales presentations propose solutions to prospects’ problems.
  2. Organize your message by asking yourself what three things you want prospects to remember. Make these points the focus of your presentation using stories and illustrations to bring them to life. Clear messages will separate you from 90% of your competitors who have no clearly identifiable points.
  3. Show passion for your product or service. Some salespeople fail to speak with real passion, especially during difficult times. But attitude drives behavior. We move in the direction of our thoughts. We behave as we believe. What we feel on the inside, we generally demonstrate on the outside. That’s why pessimists don’t last too long in sales. How you look and sound matters enormously.
  4. Involve prospects in your presentations. One of the best ways to ensure that you connect and bond with your prospects is to make your presentation interactive. Try to turn your presentation into a conversation. In conversations, you’re responding to your prospect’s concerns. Yes, hidden objections may come out. But you set yourself apart by letting your prospect see how you solve problems and how well you understand their business.
  5. Avoid making the presentation too long or too detailed. If the presentation is too long, the prospect may lose focus and get bored. How many times have you ever heard of a presentation that was too short? If too many facts are presented, the main point may be obscured.

Adapted from the book How To Win A Pitch by Joey Asher, an attorney, sales coach and consultant.

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