“It’s critical that you forget about your role as seller and the prospect’s role as buyer.”
Each of us is bombarded with more than 5,000 promotional and marketing messages daily. To be more effective in communicating in today’s marketplace, your message must cut through informational and promotional clutter.
Here are five essential steps to every winning sales presentation, especially as it relates to telesales:
Making an “immediate connection” with today’s distracted and time-impoverished prospect means getting the prospect listening to you, liking you, believing you … and thinking “I want to hear more.” Even highly skilled professionals often have less than 45 seconds to successfully accomplish this step. If you cannot master the science of “opening,” you’ll rarely get even a meager shot at closing. Think of this dynamic mathematically: rapport = trust x credibility/risk. 2) DESCRIPTION
In this step, you’re simply describing what the offer is and how it works. Because the prospect never really cares what the offer is, but rather, what it does, it is critical to make this segment as entertaining as possible, painting interesting and enticing word pictures in order to hold that precious attention span until quickly transitioning into “What all of this means to you, John, is …” Naturally, this is all John cares about. 3) BENEFITS
In this, the most powerful phase, you must bring the “What all of this means to you, John” alive! If you’ve asked the right front-end, objective-based questions and listened empathetically, you’ll know the prospect’s dominant buying motive (i.e., the No. 1 reason he or she would buy).
Don’t overwhelm the prospect. Simply focus on your offer’s three most compelling benefits, saving the one that appeals most to the “dominant buying motive” for last. This one will be your most effective, preceded with, “And the real benefit to you, John, is …”
Example: “As you can see on your screen from all of the scientific research data I’m providing to you via this slide show, this sponsorship package can help increase your qualified booth traffic by as much as 104 percent, which can translate into sales conversions of as much as 62 percent, and the real benefit to you is the profoundly positive impact this can have upon your ultimate ROI from the show!”
An excellent follow-up question might be “And that’s what you really want from this show, John — maximum profitability — isn’t it?” When you’ve successfully accomplished this step, there is a greater than 80-percent probability that the sale is a forgone conclusion.
In this phase, you’re telling the prospect — briefly — how to get involved, while maintaining a high level of conviction, energy and optimism. Human nature dictates that we buy on emotion and justify with logic, so you can’t risk dangerous drop-offs in contagious enthusiasm.
When quickly explaining that “the only thing involved in securing this package for you while it’s still available is …” you’ll be faced with disclosing the price. Never state the price by itself. Always bury it in a “sea of benefits,” remembering that the prospect weighs the perceived value of your offer versus the cash required. If these two are perceived as equal, the cash will win out every time. That’s why the real and perceived value must far outweigh the price required, and be presented accordingly with great confidence.
If you mention price by itself, the prospect will place excessive and undue focus on only price without properly weighing it against the offer value. Second, do not say “price” or “cost.” Rather, always position your offer as an “investment” (“The only investment involved on your behalf is … and again, that means to you …”), which always implies a profitable return.
5) ASSUMED CLOSE
People don’t like to make major decisions, and that’s why it’s critical that you forget about your role as seller and the prospect’s role as buyer, both here and throughout your presentation. Mentally visualize yourself on the same side of the table as the prospect, as his or her “assistant buyer.” It’s important to be highly assumptive, yet consummately respectful, while leading the prospect through a series of minor decision-making questions.
Example: “John, do you prefer to do business through your New York- or Connecticut-based office? Thank you. Do you feel like the Elite Silver Sponsorship Package or the Bronze Package would be best suited for you, while only a few of each still remain?”
When you’ve received enough positive “either-or” answers from the prospect, you know that he or she has already bought, without ever having to make a major decision.
At this point, simply ask for the “exact spelling of the prospect’s last name,” or “confirm the exact e-mail address or fax number” before sending over the “confirmation/reservation form (don’t refer to it as a “contract”) that secures this exclusive opportunity for you, John.”
Before getting off the phone, congratulate the prospect on an extremely savvy marketing decision, and thank them very much for their valuable time, while stressing how much you’re “looking forward to building this new, productive relationship.”
In closing, keep in mind what selling really is at its core — a mere transference of positive feeling supported by logic that can’t be refuted. Always maintain control of your presentation, and strive to do well by doing good. Vow to enter into no transaction that does not benefit every one it touches, and SMILE. Your sincere smile can be felt, believe it or not … even over the phone!