According to NFL statistics, 75% of the teams who score first go on to win the football game. Similarly the NHL tells us that hockey teams in the lead at the end of the first period win 72% of the time.
In sales, there is a similar correlation between actual annual performance and early achievement of the sales plan. Industry research shows that sales teams that get off to a fast start by meeting or exceeding their sales plan in the first and second quarters, are twice as likely to achieve their annual sales plan than those teams that do not. So it seems to make sense to work quickly when selling, in order to achieve the first burst and score some points with your prospect.
Prior to that, while scheduling an appointment make a solid attempt to identify the decision makers and ensure they will all be present for your meeting, since peg leg presentations (one-leggers) rarely culminate in closed sales. When you propose to less than all the players you are inadvertently tasking the buyer in attendance with presenting your offering to those who are absent. Any way you slice it, that’s risky.
Whether you begin your presentations with a humorous story, a serious story, or a joke of some sort, it seems the most important thing is to ensure you get moving quickly, rather than agonize over a particular presentation format. That said, here are some suggestions designed to help improve your results as you sit with residential prospects and begin your presentations:
- When its show time, position yourself across from the buyer(s), rather than next to them, in order to improve eye contact. This also increases your chances of successfully reading facial expressions and body language.
- Be consultative and conversational and avoid scare tactics or hard sell techniques in your delivery.
- Unless you’re sure the prospects are anal and want to know everything, begin your presentation by stating you will only address the need to know, not the nice to know. It’s also a good idea to leave collateral material with homeowners that will function as a memory jogger and a silent salesperson after you leave.
Salesperson making proposal. Digital image. November 18, 2015. https//freedigitalphotos.net
- It’s a plus if you state from the outset a timeline for the presentation. When that length of time expires, you should stop and remind them that you are a person of your word, even if you didn’t finish. Prospects that are seriously interested, will more than likely allow you to continue, which would be a buying signal.
- It’s also a good idea to position your proposal material (tablet or brochure) so that it faces the prospect, and use your pen as a pointer. This will help focus attention and reduce eye-roaming as you talk. Since people think much faster than you can talk, your pen becomes a speed bump to slow their eyes and increase the odds they remain engaged.
- Avoid speaking too slowly, as a crisply moving presentation is normally received more favorably than one given at a snail’s pace.
- Each time you discuss one of the prospect’s pain points, connect it to a solution you provide, along with the benefits that makes it unique among your competition. This improves the chances your buyer gets the answers they’re seeking.
Since it’s unsanitary to put words in your mouth, I trust you will accept these pointers as purely suggestions, simply meant to help you improve your face time with prospects and buyers as you attempt to cross the sales “goal line.”
————Hit the Hooray Button————
Doug, I just wanted to take a minute to thank you for the online video training and coaching you are providing to us. Every time I hear your voice, your personality and demeanor gets me pumped up and ready to go sell! Also I can’t thank you enough for the life experiences you continually share that are so helpful with situations I face every day. Now I’m able to conquer them due to the knowledge you are sharing. Tyler Payne, Comfort Specialist, Barineau Heating & Air, Tallahassee. If you’re curious, look HERE.
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