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CHAPTER FIVE The Sales Presentation 5 Ways to Make It Pay Off.

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1 CHAPTER FIVE The Sales Presentation 5 Ways to Make It Pay Off

2 It worked! Your list making, contact identification, and outbound prospecting have paid off. The prospect wants to learn more about your services. Like a first date, this is a chance for both you and your prospect to get to know a little more about each other. Unlike your prospect, though, you have the responsibility for making a great impression and leaving the door open for building a relationship. Here are five ways to make your sales presentation outstanding: Be prepared! If you want to make the most of the relatively short time that you will be given for your sales presentation, then you need to be prepared. And that preparation takes three forms: First do your homework and gather all the information you can about your prospect and their company. Look them up on LinkedIn, review their website, and check your internal records to see if any work has been done with their company (or a competitors) in the past. Second, check your tech. Make sure that the technology you are using in your sales presentation is working properly – and make sure its still working about 10 minutes before the sales presentation, so you can avoid any last-minute tech emergencies. 1. Finally, your presentation. This is the time to focus on what you bring to the table, including the distinction you established back in Chapter 1. This is what got you in the door, and this is what the prospect is interested in. So focus on your distinction and how you stand out from the crowd.

3 The Sandwich Technique, applied to sales presentations. The goal is to get as much information about what the prospect is looking for as possible. The more information you have about them and their needs, the better you can tailor the discussion to their role and interests, and how you can help them. So, after you have secured the presentation, try asking for more information in order to have a more efficient and productive discussion. Often, prospects will not give you this additional direction or will say they want a general capabilities presentation…probably because they just dont know much about you yet, and you havent established much trust. So, the first five minutes of your presentation should be used to establish credibility and rapport. Briefly talk about your industry experience, interests, and any former employers or colleagues you might have in common (from the prep work you did on LinkedIn before the call). Then, ask the prospect about their role in the company, issues they are dealing with, the types of research projects they most often get involved with, what they think they envision needing in the future, etc. Consider asking the prospect what they saw in your emails that struck them as particularly interesting. Any information you get at this point is critical to helping you tailor the rest of the presentation to the prospects specific situation. 2.

4 Have a modular presentation. Creating a modular presentation lets you customize your sales presentation in advance – or on the fly for those situations where youre not sure what interests the prospect. For example, if your distinction is customer satisfaction tracking research, you might include modules on customer satisfaction tracking, loyalty research, lost customer or win-back research, employee satisfaction research, etc. Keep each section relatively short so you can skip through the irrelevant sections, but be prepared to expand on each slide that seems to meet your prospects needs. 3. Have a POV. Have a point-of-view. Be prepared to take a stand on critical issues in your specialty and to defend them appropriately. You dont always have to agree with the prospect; great market researchers will be willing to entertain alternative approaches to accomplishing their goals, especially if they offer a benefit over what they are currently doing. Your opposing/different viewpoint will often be considered a positive – a way for a company to look at things from a different perspective, hopefully to ultimately help them derive better insights and make better decisions. 4.

5 Be professional. Remember to follow the basic rules of personal and professional etiquette: be on time (or better yet, a couple minutes early) and respect time limits. Be sure to listen! If you feel you are talking too much, you probably are; stop and check in with the others on the call or in the meeting. Ask them how your presentation is resonating with them, if what youre discussing is relevant, and if they have any questions so you dont veer too far off track. Think of the sales presentation like a date; to learn more about the other person you need to get them to talk to you…and when youre talking, try to keep it interesting! 5. At the end of the presentation, which was hopefully more of a discussion than a speech, before the call ends, you want to establish some next steps. Was there something you agreed to follow-up on during the call? Remind the prospect that you will be doing that. Ask the client for their reaction to what they heard. Would they be comfortable inviting your firm to submit a proposal for their next research project? Is there anything preventing them from working with you? The purpose of the sales call is to open the door – so make sure you leave it open. Bonus Tip: Reach out to the prospect via LinkedIn after the call; if they accept your connection, youre probably in good standing – if they dont, well, at least you know where you stand!


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