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The Presentation is. . . • That part of the sales call where the salesperson logically does a little more of the talking • Outlining a solution to the customer’s problem(s) • Detailing a customized plan to meet the customer’s unique needs/satisfy their wants
What Sales Reps Talk About vs What Customers Want n Alice is a sales rep for Agri Vision. She is working in her home office one evening preparing for a sales call tomorrow with Brian, who she hopes some day will become one of her key accounts. In the process of preparing for the call, Alice has put together a list of all the good features she can think of regarding her product. She will find out tomorrow that she has made a typical sales presentation mistake. What is it?
Let Me Show You This n Drew is a sales rep for Eelangkoh. Later today he is calling on a customer with the goal of explaining and selling a new, somewhat sophisticated animal health product. What alternative sales aids can and should Drew use to assist him in getting the sale?
Sales Quotes Features and Benefits n n n A good sales presentation has a good beginning and a good ending. Both of these should be kept as close together as possible. Some sales talks are like horns on steers – a point here, a point there, and a lot of bull in the middle. You cannot sell vision to the indifferent but you can sell them benefits. (Charlene Bell, psychologist)
Sales Quotes Features and Benefits n Keep the buying decision as simple, logical, and uncluttered as possible. (Sales Upbeat, Feb. 29, 1996) n A sales presentation should be a dialogue, not a monologue. (Sales Upbeat, May 22, 1997)
The Presentation is. . . n n Helping the prospect understand how you will help them in an organized, step by step, point by point manner Telling your story so as to create a desire for your product by the prospect Making selling points by converting product features into benefits Handling objections/concerns the prospect may have
Presentation Length? n n “How long does it take: 5 minutes, 20 minutes, an hour? With some products and services it may take hours, even days. ” “No matter what the product or the service, you should sit down and figure out what you will say if you only have 1 minute or 5 minutes. ” Source: Sales Upbeat
Characteristics of Effective Presentations ü ü ü Focus on matters of importance to the customer Directed at those who have the authority to buy Cater to the ‘style’ of the prospect Sensitive to the time availability and mood of the prospect Not too long and too detailed (i. e. usually don’t tell prospect everything). Still more of a dialogue than a monologue.
General Options for Presentation Strategy 1. 2. 3. Best product Best price n Seasonal/off season discounts n Quantity discounts n Promotional allowances n Unbundling discounts Best service n By salesperson (before and after sale) n Delivery n Billing Notes: - may focus on one, but usually can’t ignore others. - customer’s perception of ‘value’ may be weighted average of all
Written Proposals v v Becoming more commonly used as part of a salesperson’s presentation strategy Some buyers may want a specific proposed solution or plan in writing Can distinguish you from the competition Vary in form and length but content typically includes: v v Budget/cost Objective expressed in benefit terms Plan for achieving objectives/benefits Time frame/schedule
Selling Aids n n What? Any sales tool that can help you communicate with a prospect. Must be: n ¡ Well organized ¡ Easy to understand use ¡ Convenient ¡ Neat and clean ¡ Professional Examples: ¡ Three-ring binder with tabs ¡ Photos (product, customers, facilities, test plots) ¡ Reports/research results ¡ Newspaper/magazine articles ¡ Samples ¡ Demonstrations ¡ Customer-specific proposals ¡ Price list
A FABulous Presentation Strategy n n Emphasizes Features And Benefits Converts product features into customer benefits ¡ ¡ ¡ n n Customers buy benefits, not features Customers buy what the product will do for them Customers recall, can buy for many different reasons Provides evidence or proof of benefits Obtain’s prospect agreement or acceptance of benefits
Features Are facts (undisputable) about the product, services, company, salesperson, etc. þ Are characteristics or traits that can be proven with data/evidence þ Generally deal with ‘what is it’ or ‘how does it work’ questions þ Features would include specific information about a product such as: Production process Weight Odor Delivery terms Volume Price Quality/grade/traits Shape Quantity Guarantees Color Packaging Taste/flavor Ingredients/composition þ
Benefits are. . . n n n n The end results of a feature for a customer The good things that happen to a customer as a result of using a product The customer’s perception of a product’s ‘value’ Needs met by using a product Problems solved by using a product Wants obtained by using a product The reasons people buy a product
Common salesperson mistakes to avoid on converting features into benefits 1. 2. Assuming the prospect can easily see and understand the benefits n More obvious to the salesperson because they are more familiar with the product n Have to do this for the customer even though it may seem obvious (and even an insult to their intelligence) n Use linkage phrases such as “because of (this feature) you will be able to (gain this benefit)” or “this (feature) means that (benefit)” Focusing on benefits you think are important versus what the customer wants
Common salesperson mistakes to avoid on converting features into benefits 3. 4. 5. 6. Focusing on product features instead of customer benefits n Only natural for technically oriented salespeople to do so n Proud of what you sell n Talk about features that impress you Emphasizing what ‘I’ or ‘We’ will sell versus what ‘you’ will gain or receive Making the buying decision too complicated (people usually buy for one or two main reasons, not twenty) Continuing to talk about features and benefits after the prospect is ready to buy
Proving Benefits û û Customers often need evidence, not just your opinion, that benefits exist Claims need to be û û Believable (not exaggerated) Supportable with evidence Made positively, confidently (without being cocky) Don’t overwhelm the customer with evidence but do use evidence from multiple sources Research results (3 rd party best) Field tests Other user results/stories Photographs Demonstrations Calculations Comparisons Written articles Sales aids
Features, NOT Benefits, of a Mechanical Pencil n n n Looks professional Lead lasts a long time Can keep track of lead hardness Lead won’t break easily Don’t have to sharpen Easy to store, carry Can attach to pocket Won’t rust Non-slip grip Lead is replaceable Covered eraser
Mechanical pencil (features and benefits summary example) 1. 2. 3. State feature/link the benefit “This mechanical pencil has a fully retractable point which means you won’t get those nasty holes or black spots on your clean shirts. ” Provide evidence “Here, let me show you. If I push on the top of the pencil and simultaneously push on the lead at the bottom, the lead retracts fully into the barrel of the pencil. ” Secure agreement “Pretty neat, huh? Here you try it. Do you agree that not ruining your shirts is an important consideration in buying a mechanical pencil? ”
Converting Features into Benefits [Mechanical Lead Pencil] Example Feature (Because of …) n . 5 mm lead 2. Retractable lead & point 3. Automatic lead feed 4. Easy to disassemble 5. Lead type indicator Stainless steel parts 6. Benefit (You will be able to …) (Which means …) - maintain fine point - have sharper more professional writing - avoid holes in shirt pocket - make better impression - keep wife happier - save time - avoid dirty fingers - easy to maintain/service - less ‘downtime’ - remember type lead used - will last long time - attractive—looks good
Converting Features Into Benefits Liquid Nitrogen Solution Example Feature (Because of …) Benefit (You will be able to …) (Which means …) - easier to handle - less effort - cleaner - safer - less chance injury - no chance of not getting nitrogen on 1. Liquid form 2. Low pressure storage 3. Can be applied prior to planting Can serve as carrier - single application cheaper for pesticides - more effective coverage Specific chemical properties - less loss to evaporation - quicker plant response - higher yield 4. 5.
Sales Quotes Features and Benefits n People never buy something for 20 reasons. They usually buy for 1 or 2 reasons that are most important to them. (Sales Upbeat, 2/29/96) n Long speeches tend to get short interest. (WSJ, 1 -26 -95)
Features and Benefits Summary 1. 2. 3. State the feature and link the benefit Provide sufficient evidence of the benefit Secure agreement from the prospect that they see the benefit
Liquid Nitrogen (features & benefits summary example) 1. 2. 3. State feature/link the benefit “Our liquid nitrogen is stored under very low pressure compared to anhydrous ammonia which means there is less danger for you in handling our product; there is no high pressure hose that can break and spew dangerous chemicals over you or your son. ” Provide evidence “I know the safety issue is important to you and ever since I read in the paper last year about the injury to that farmer over by Centerville who lost an eye from a broken anhydrous hose – well I just don’t think safety is something you can compromise. ” Secure agreement “Bill, do you agree that safety is an important consideration here? Do you see where our product is less dangerous to use? ”
Selling Aids n n What? Any sales tool that can help you communicate with a prospect. n Must be: ¡ Well organized ¡ Easy to understand use ¡ Convenient ¡ Neat and clean ¡ professional Examples: ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ Three-ring binder with tabs Photos (product, customers, facilities, test plots) Reports/research results Newspaper/magazine articles Samples Demonstrations Customer-specific proposals Price list