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SUMMER 2011

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Distributor's Link Magazine Summer Issue 2011 / VOL 34 / NO.3

50 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

50 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Dave Kahle Dave Kahle has trained tens of thousands of distributor and B2B sales people and sales managers to be more effective in the 21st Century economy. He’s authoredeight books, and presented in 47 states and seven countries. Sign up for his weekly Ezine , or visit his blog. For more information, or to contact the author, contact: The DaCo Corporation, 835 West River Center Drive, PO Box 523, Comstock Park, MI 49321. Email:cheryl@davekahle.com http://www.davekahle.com, Phone: 800.331.1287 or 616.451.9377 Fax: 616.451.9412 THE THREE BIGGEST MISTAKES IN SALES PRESENTATIONS The sales presentation is the ultimate purpose of every sales process, of every sales call, and of every sales system. The job of the sales person revolves around the point in time when he offers the customer something to buy. The sales presentation can take a variety of forms. If you demonstrate a product, for example, that is a sales presentation. If you use a hard-copy brochure or a CD Rom presentation on your lap-top, that is a sales presentation. If you deliver and detail a sample, that is a sales presentation. If you respond to the customer’s request, and provide a price, deliver a proposal, or submit a bid, each of these are sales presentations. Without the sales presentation, there can be no sale. It is, then, the foundational step in the sales process. Everything that happens before is in preparation for the presentation, and everything that happens afterward is a result of the presentation. You would think, then, that every sales person is extremely well-trained in the science of making an effective sales presentation. Alas, that is not the case. Left to learn on their own, many sales people make the same mistakes over and over again. Here are the three most commonly made sales presentation mistakes. 1. Lack of Preparation In my very first sales position, I had to endure six weeks of sales training. In those six weeks, the entire training class had to memorize two four-page sales presentations, and give them to the training class. We were videoed and critiqued, over and over, for the six weeks. At the end of that time we were thoroughly prepared to give that sales presentation. Now that may have been a bit of an overkill, but the point remains: Preparation is the first step towards an effective sales presentation. That doesn’t necessarily mean that you memorize the presentation. But it does mean that you organize it, that you secure and check your collateral (the sample, brochures, price quotes, etc that form the basis of what you are selling), and that you practice the presentation several times until you are comfortable with it and confident in your ability to deliver it. Unfortunately, preparation is a discipline that seems to be fading from the routines of many sales people. The world is full of sales people who either have little respect for their customer’s time, no particular interest in doing their jobs well, or an over-inflated view of their own ad-libbing abilities. Any of these produces the sense that they don’t need to prepare, that on the spur of the moment, they will come up with the most persuasive things to say, in the most effective manner. That’s too bad. Preparation is the first step toward a better sales presentation, and lack of preparation is endemic in the world of sales. 2. Information Purging This occurs when a sales person thinks his/her job is to relate everything he/she knows about the product, service or proposal. I was deeply into a training program wherein we work with six sales people every day for a week. Sales people role-played various situations, we videoed them, critiqued them, and had them role play again, only better. please turn to page 60

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