Sales Process: Step 3–Presentation
We’re talking Presentation, the third step of the Online Sales Process, this month. By the time you get to this step, you’ve Greeted your prospect, been through Rapport Building/Investigation and discovered their need and that they are a good fit for your services.
Now it’s time for you to Present your solution to the problem that you have discovered (by doing the hard work of correctly Greeting, Building Rapport, and Investigating the prospect’s problem to see if you the right fit).
How do you go about it on your website or social media?
Do you put much thought into it?
If you’re like most small businesses, the answer is….NO.
Looking at the image above, think about it for a second.
In real terms, it’s nothing more than a few shrimp and a few green beans, along with some other elements that the chef chose to include. What difference does it make that it’s arranged like it is here?
Presentation, the Core of your Online Sales Process
Presentation is the difference. If you were served the same food, but in a pile in the middle of a paper plate, your experience, expectation, and level of satisfaction will be very different. It will also dramatically affect your perception of value.
In the same way, your Presentation of your product or service will be the determining factor for how much value your prospect attaches to it, the level of satisfaction they experience.
Presentation is the “First Impression” your prospect has of your solution that you’re offering to their problem.
That first impression will determine the success of the rest of your Sales Process.
Do it well, and you earn more satisfied customers, a smoother and more effective Sales Process, and more repeat sales.
Do it badly, and your sales will suffer.
“The right solution for the right pain at the right time”; this is my definition of a true sale. Anything else is not genuine.
Think about it; when’s the last time you were “hard sold”?
You know “hard selling”; someone trying to talk you into something you’re not convinced you need, not convinced of the value, or otherwise don’t want (in the “old days”, this was common with long distance service)?
Think of that in comparison to when your car AC goes out in July. That’s a pain, and you’re going to solve it as soon as possible.
No one has to “hard sell” you for a pain.
Intentionally Put Presentation to Work for you in Your Online Sales Process
As an exercise, think about your own online sales process.
- How much of it do you put proactive thought into?
- How disciplined is your approach when you discover a pain that you know you can solve?
- Can you point to a specific time recently that you intentionally put forth your Presentation step?
These are important questions, because your Presentation should involve a disciplined process, for a couple of reasons.
First, you need to be able to measure your success rate, and you can’t do that without discipline.
If you vary your approach every time you present your solution, how can you know what works for sure? Using the same steps as you go through your Presentation will allow you to measure and improve.
Second, you should use a planned, disciplined process in your Presentation step to ensure that you always cover the essentials.
A common occurrence in sales is the unsatisfied customer who was sold something that really wasn’t a fit. The reason this happens sometimes is enthusiasm.
At the moment of the sale, the prospect is convinced that this particular product or service is the right fit, when many time it isn’t.
At this point, the person at the point of the sale has not done their job, and it’s usually in the area of not having a disciplined approach.
My Own Story
I’ll give you a personal example. About ten years ago, I was in the position of selling a high ticket service (3000.00).
I was introduced to a prospect, and as I began to walk through my Sales Process, he jumped in and said “I love it! I’ll take it! Let’s start immediately”.
I made the mistake of going forward with the sale without ensuring that we walked through all the steps of the sale (Greeting, Rapport Building/Investigation, Presentation, Demonstration, Close), which would have told me that he did not understand a couple of key aspects of our service.
It would also have revealed that there were a couple of hidden details that he didn’t know to tell me.
This caused huge problems in the engagement, deep dissatisfaction and distrust from the client, HUGE time loss for me as I dealt with the fallout, and ultimately the client leaving and us having to refund him.
All this could have been avoided with a disciplined Sales Process, a disciplined Presentation and the backbone to stick to it.
Presentation is the Core of your Online Sales Process
In short, Presentation is the core of your Sales Process. It’s the first time you reveal a solution to a prospect’s pain (or, it’s the point at which you determine that you are NOT a fit, and you walk away from the sale, but that’s another blog post).
It’s the setup for your Demonstration of how your product or service is going to fix pain for your prospect. Done correctly, it makes closing very easy, because the prospect “self-identifies” as having the need you solve.
If you’re looking for help in your Sales Process, and specifically in your Presentation, I hope this post has helped.
If you need ongoing help or need some support for your company’s Sales Process, we can talk about that, too.