Saturday, 5 February 2011

Show me - 4 types of Sales Demonstration and how best to use them face to face and or line

One the criticisms of salespeople that has been repeated over the 12 years of the Buyers views of salespeople study is that many of us "talk too much." Maybe like the suitor in My fair Lady we should listen and read our buyers better.

"….Sing me no song ,rhyme no rhyme
Don’t waste my time show me.Don’t talk of June, Don’t talk of fall
Don’t talk at all – Show meNever do I ever want to hear another word
There isn’t one I haven’t heard…."

Elisa Doolittle from My fair Lady by Lerner and Loewe to the hapless suitor Freddy Eynsford-Hill

54% of Buyers said that their buying groups found demonstrations as a media to receive a supplier presentation. (Source: Buyers Views of Salespeople see below)
The use of sales aids must be planned along with the content of each of your sales presentations.

Your sales aids are not a substitute for a well-structured presentation - they are a complement to it.
4 Different types of sales aids

Interest 'stimulators' which engage one of your client’s other senses (i.e. apart from hearing), an aid which brings in sight, smell, touch or taste can be an excellent ‘attention getter’.

Trust builders such as testimonials, newspaper articles, white papers or independent test reports will reduce any doubts a prospect may feel about the wisdom and safety of purchasing from you.

Visuals such as diagrams, photographs or advertisements help to communicate facts or explanations, and add variety to the presentation.

Laptops help you make your whole presentation logical, complete and well ordered; for example, a well-structured PowerPoint presentation, Video Web Conference with ‘on screen’ you appeal, combined with good graphics, can be very persuasive.

Your own sales literature may encompass some or all of these aids or may simply be a summary or a reference document to leave with your client.

Remember not to hand over literature to a client until the stage in the presentation where the objective of the literature is the same as the next objective in the presentation. *If they wish to look at the interest by all means hand it over but stop talking over it because they may not take in your messages.
Similarly when using PowerPoint blank (toggle key B) or white ( toggle key W) the screen until you are describing what's on the screen.

Demonstrations act as an
• explanation of what your product is or does
• proof that it works and is effective and relevant to your client
• motivation of your prospect to want it after seeing it in action or using it
• trial/practice in advance somewhere where mistakes do not matter

Prepare carefully giving yourself time to resolving any problems - for example:-

Ensure you find appropriate location of your demonstration can make all the difference; if possible arrange to demonstrate in a typical “user location”; if not, it is wise check in advance what facilities are available and gear your demonstration accordingly ( or if using web conferencing all the equipment is compatible)

Pace your demonstration so that you explain sufficiently what is happening without being so slow as to sound laboured.

Professionalism means presenting in a way that has impact and is memorable, but ensuring that your “showmanship” is subtle and not glib or “flashy”

Engage your prospect(s) in the demonstration through their active participation . It makes an enormous difference; plan how to achieve involvement without losing control of the demonstration

Some guidelines

Sales aids and samples used in face to face situations need to be kept clean and in good order.

If you are using them regularly you may not notice their deterioration and gradually looking ‘tired’ but your clients will. Dusting your laptop from time to time is worth doing. They do attract a lot of dust through static.

During your presentation you must keep control of all aids or they may become a distraction from you rather than an advantage to you.

e.g., if you are using a brochure make sure that you are turning the pages as and when you want them turned rather than allowing your client to flick over the pages while you are talking about something different. ( but see * above if they are holding the brochure try not to talk over a brochure which is being read/flicked through by a buyer )

Design and use each aid for a specific objective. Once that objective is attained put the aid to one side or away from your client and out of sight.
Click for free executive summary of the Buyers Views of salespeople research study

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