When was the last time you bought something because of a really good sales pitch? I am constantly reviewing my sales processes looking for ways to improve my presentations and really capture people’s attention. But, it hit me today that I am wasting my time. Sales presentations don’t sell. The problem with the old idea of the traditional sales presentation is that in today’s market there is always something similar, cheaper, and easier to get than whatever you’re selling. People are tired of hearing how we have the best and most cost effective product. The truth; consumers don’t believe us any longer when we tell them such things. People are even tired of hearing how our products can make their business or life better. They don’t believe us any longer. Don’t get me wrong it is not that we are liars, it’s just that in today’s world there are so many options that we can’t assume are product is unique anymore.
If we want to really get down and honest with ourselves about what really sells a product it is value. Not the value in the product but the value that we provide around the product. Today, purchase decisions are not made on what the product is or does. They are made on what surrounds the product. The value that surrounds the product, things like customer service, support, warranties, even lifestyle image, is more important than the product itself.
Don’t be afraid, I am not trying to tear your sales pitch from your hands; we just need to reconsider how we present our products. A list of product benefits no longer will entice a sell. The sales presentation (if you are stuck on calling it that) is now all about connecting people to the value that surrounds the product. As sales executives our job is no longer to sell the product but to sell the idea, the essence of the product. We must present with less words and more actions. Show people the value; don’t just tell them that it is there. Value can be shown in a number of ways, but the best way to show it is to focus on the customer not the product.
Sales presentations don’t work because people don’t care about the product. They care about themselves. People want to tell you why they need your product. So let them. Listen to their story and add small interjections about how you (not the product) can help. Today’s sales presentations should be all about asking questions and letting the customer tell you why they need your help. Then all you have to do is start helping them. First offer simple free advice or solutions (things you have learned from experience). Once you have value established you can start bringing the product into the mix. Ultimately the product just becomes the vessel upon which value is shipped. People are purchasing the value; the product is just the tool.
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