Thursday, 22 November 2012

Question time at Business Beauty Parades Sales Presentation

The Buyers' Views of Salespeople survey shows that the most popular length of time given to suppliers to present to a group of buyers is one hour including question time.

As in TV programmes like the Apprentice or Dragons den the performance or execution of the project is important but often what sways the judges or the voters at home is the way the contestants answer questions after the task. So it is in selling beauty contests.

it is often at the question and answer session that an earlier 'church mouse' panellist will ask the crucial probing questions.

In these beauty shows time is short. you will not be allowed to poach time from your competitors, so it is better to telegraph from the outset that time has been set aside for questions at the end of your presentation.

for free download of Buyers Views of sales people 2012

Panellists should feel free to ask questions during your presentation, but you can decide whether to answer them then and there or postpone to the end at question time.

Don't forget to take a note of any postponed questions. The act of writing them down shows serious interest and ensures you won't forget to repeat and answer the deferred question.

Watch out particularly during the inquest period for the following:-

The disguised objection - " Your fee is a little steep isn't it?". this needs to be handled with care. Show appreciation for the point of view, but don't agree with it. Don't get defensive about it since most questions of this kind are searching for clarification. Answer briefly.

The trip or test question - This is probably being asked to test your knowledge of the situation. Don't bluff your way out. Refer it to your partner (an expert) or promise to find out and get back soon as possible before the panel's final decision.

The Clever Cloggs person question - This is often used by members of your audience who wish to show off and display their knowledge to their colleagues. Commented them in front of their panel ( it is what they are after anyhow) . Defer the detailed answer for after the meeting. don't try to put them down. You way win an argument but not the panel's agreement to appoint you.

The Challenge question - Should you make a point in your presentation which steps on a panel's on a panel member's toes and are challenged, don't stand up to the challenge. Retreat and acquiesce: " These trends are only general to the market at this stage".

The Defensive question - Some of the recommendations of your presentation could be seen as a threat by certain members of your panel. You are nearly always proposing a change of some sort. This can prevent defensive questions. At first ask the questioner to expand on his concern. if a difficulty still remains, involve members of the panel and suggest a compromise withe panel's agreement. This is an opportunity to use a conditional close- " If we were to..."


Having finished with the questions and given your thanks, do try to close.

You may find this suggestion of help if you are last in the beauty line.

"Thank you ladies and gentlemen . since there are no further questions , I have the authorisation form here " take it to the closing document to the Chairperson / decision maker on the panel). " Would you sign here?" ( then shut up)

So long as you use a serious and not an aggressive tone you will often get a slightly flustered response. The power in the room is now more equally shared between you and the panel It is after all 'make your mind up time' - you may well get the business because you had the guts to ask.

Should the chairperson respond on the lines " Gosh, well erm... we said that we collecting their thoughts) um.. need time to review all the presentations. you should politely respond " Of course, I understand that. It is your right to do so. You have after all sat and listened to X hours of presentation. I would hope all my competitors have all tried to close. It is the professional action to take. You would want to offer the business to anybody not hungry enough to ask for it,would you?"

That passing shot won't always get you the immediate go ahead , but it will blow out any lesser rivals and unsettle a complacent incumbent's presentation if they did not ask for the business in the final discussions of the buyer team.

Remember "If you don't try and close - you are working for the competition.

Good luck on your next visit on the catwalk.

No comments:

Post a Comment