The nuts and bolts, or how a sales presentation is put together.
You have to create a sales presentation BEFORE you meet with the prospective customer. Maybe this is obvious, and you already know this, but even if you do know this, you will probably learn some things about exactly how to create the presentation by continuing to read here.
Most of us like music. We have all heard songs that last from 2 to 4 minutes. If you are a musician, you already know that it may have taken days, weeks or months to get that song “just perfect” and recorded. There may be dozens of hours or over a hundred hours distilled into that particular 2 minutes and 37 seconds. Think about that! Particularly if you’re not a musician. A lot of us have watched one-minute TikToks, sure some are just done live, one take. But MOST are practiced, rehearsed and redone over and over. Many hours to get one-perfect-minute. Or what about the dominoes and the cards and the time-lapse shots? Well you get the picture. Just as some people win the lottery, some people spend a minute and get a million views, but even those probably spend hours learning how to USE TikTok. So if you want to close more sales consistently, plan, prepare, reverse, get-it-right THEN go see the prospect. ***
*** But the other side is you can get caught in analysis-paralysis, just plain hesitation or fear-of-failure, and never take action. At some point you also just have to leap, be wrong, get the feedback, adjust course and move forward. More on this later.
It really has to be the same way with your sales presentation. That is if you want to be very successful. You may not need to spend a hundred hours, but particularly if you are just starting out in sales, or if you are introducing a new product. You must think-through all the benefits of your offering, all the potential problems a customer may find, real or imagined, about your offering. Then you must think about all the questions and information an intelligent and rational person needs to understand before they could make a decision about if your product or service is right for them. Things like, why buy from you instead of you another company, can they afford it, is it the right time to make the purchase, will it make them happy, will they be satisfied after the purchase, or next year?
Sales Training is really just training in communicating effectively.
So this is the introduction into the psychology of a sale. After this we will get into some definite steps, five of them, that you need to go through to structure your sales presentation But it is very important to completely grasp the following concept:
People buy based on emotions, but they justify the purchase with logic. And they buy benefits, not things.
We have talked about effective communication and that the more people you reach, the more people will buy from you.
Another one of these headline foundational aspects is that people buy benefits. They don’t buy things.
Now at some level this is obvious, everybody knows this but when you’re selling it’s important to have this completely ingrained in you. That you are not selling them things, you’re selling them the outcomes or the results or the benefits of the service or product that they’re buying.
Just to give some examples people buy the cool and comfortable feelings they get from an air conditioner. They don’t buy a box that sits in the window or something that sits outside their house.
That’s not what they’re really buying. Although you may have to talk a lot about the details of certain things, what it’s efficiency rating is or what have you. But ultimately what they’re buying is what it does for them, keeps them cool in the summer.
People buy the freedom and convenience of a credit card and the ability to spend more money than they have. This is obvious.
They don’t buy a little piece of plastic. That’s not why they have a credit card. They have a credit card because of convenience and so forth.
People buy the feeling of security they get when they buy insurance. Obviously they’re not buying this piece of paper that’s got stuff written on it. They’re buying this trust and confidence that if something does go wrong it’s going to be somewhat mitigated. So this applies to any kind of product or service. People are going to be buying benefits.
Here’s the foundational, geological, seismic, monumental aspect of why people buy things. People buy for emotional reasons.
People do all kinds of things for emotional reasons and in the sales process they buy emotionally. They buy because they feel good about it, because they want it, because something in the process makes them happy. But then they justify the sale with analytical or logical reasons.
This will continue to come up as it is critical, it is important that people, the prospect, gets to this emontional point. And part of this is what we talked about earlier that they need to trust you, and they need to believe that you can do what you’re saying you can do. They also need to believe that you WILL do what you say you can do.
And that’s part of this emotional thing. They feel good about it, they feel comfortable, they feel good about you. Then there’s also the feeling that they want it. They want to have this new car because they imagine themselves driving down the highway without worrying about the rattles and dirt and rust that’s on their old car. They want to buy a new car because it makes them feel a whole range of things.
Maybe it makes them feel important, or uplifted, or the feeling that people are impressed with them. They didn’t trust their old car. Now they got a new car, they feel it’s not going to break down on them. So those are all emotional reasons.
These feelings often happen kind of unconsciously, subconsciously, they’re just there in a person’s mind.
- Then there’s the logical and analytical reasons as well, like they need a car.
- They need a reliable car to get to work.
- They need a bigger car to deal with more children.
- Maybe they can afford this particular car but not a more expensive care.
- Maybe there are good reasons to buy the car because repairing and maintaining the existing car is actually costing more than the payment on a new car.
So there are all kinds of logical facts and figures reasons. But the logical, facts and figures reasons are not why people buy.
Sales Training in a nutshell: People buy based on emotions, but they justify the purchase with logic. And they buy benefits, not things.
The only people who really buy on facts and figures are professional purchasing agents. But, even they will buy from the person they like even it it’s not the absolute best deal for their company.
Even the hard-core engineer who convinces themselves they are making the buying decision for exclusively practical reasons is still buying for emotional reasons. After all the numbers are crunched, and all the measurable factors are balanced, they will buy what they like and from who they like.
We’ll get to this a little more later. But both things have to be there in most cases. Both the emotion and the logic
Now again, if you’re a shyster, if you’re a sleazy salesperson, you could get them really psyched up into an emotional state where they will buy it even if in the back of their head they’re telling themselves, they can’t afford it. They don’t need it. Thy will be tired of it in a week.
Whatever is going on in the back of their head, they may ignore it because they’ve been so excited by the presentation. But what will happen, if both elements aren’t there, is they’ll either cancel the sale at some point down the road, or at some point they realize they’ve been sucked into something they shouldn’t have done. And they’ll tell their friends, “don’t deal with this company”, I got suckered in, and so forth.
Also in many jurisdictions when it comes to large dollar sales, in a lot of places, , a lot of states, provinces and so forth, there are laws. They used to call them cooling-off-period laws where if you made a major purchase, regardless of what the company said, regardless of what the contract said, you’d have three days to back out.
Because many people would buy things they couldn’t afford, or things they didn’t really want, but mostly things they couldn’t afford. And so the government would step in and say, no matter what, you have three days to back-out, you can back out of a sale. So it’s a very significantly recognized dynamic that has been going on for a very long time. This idea that people buy on emotion and justify the sale with logic.
But if this basic concept is new to you. Contemplate it, think about it, get it completely ingrained in your mind as this is what makes a sale.
One other point: people don’t like to be SOLD, but they love to BUY.
They don’t want to feel like somebody is making them do something, talking-them-into something. But they do love to buy things.
So it’s desire or want, that makes the sale, which we’ve just talked about. But the sales may unwind, or they just won’t get to the point where they say YES initially. If the logic, the usefulness, the practicality, the dollars and cents, the facts and figures don’t really add up, you will have a hard time closing the sale, even if they are excited and “want” it.
But even if the facts and figures do add up, and it’s the best deal in town, and they really should have it, if they don’t like you, they won’t buy from you. So again, both things need to go together – at least if you are an ethical sales person.
So part of what the sales process is, is a methodical way to bring people through this process to where they both want it and can justify to themselves or to their wife or to their boss, thier partner, or whoever else.
So just to cover this a bit more, logic and emotion. Emotions are a lot of intangible things, you might say. The idea of freedom, color, style, prestige, wanting to be important, wanting to have the latest fashion, comfort, innovation. You just want to have the latest iPhone, the latest model car, or the electric car, even if your current model is just fine. So there are different things that drive people, being attractive for instance.
You know, there’s a whole fashion and cosmetic industry, weight loss and health industry. A very big part of the “health industry” has nothing to do with “health”. It has to do with being attractive. Being, or appearing smart, is another emotional driver. You want to look smart, you want to feel smart, you want to be smarter than the next person. So think about these things, this is the idea of emotion.
And on the logic part, you have things like the actual payment amount, the price, can I actually afford it? And then maybe there are the criteria of miles-per-gallon, which something like miles per gallon could be a practical thing AND an emotional thing. You’re trying to be the most virtue-signaling green person there is or you really need to be frugal, or both! So that’s a big thing. “I use less fuel than you do”. So there can be overlaps.
But things like durability, the cost benefit equation, if you actually need it. Can you afford it? The facts and figures.
So do you have any questions about this particular section? No.
Seems straightforward. Okay. You see in yourself from your own experience with buying, how these factors work. Think about advertising you have seen, think about in-person purchases you have made. Think about when you did not even know something existed in the morning, but by the end of the day YOU JUST HAD TO HAVE IT! You probably encountered a well-structured sales presentation, or a very good salesperson.
Okay, so when we’re looking at selling something to someone, getting them to buy, we talked about why they buy. So what is the motivation, what is the particular hot button, desire, need, or itch that this particular person has?
It might be different things. You might be trying to sell somebody on the glamour, speed and acceleration of the car, where really they are the person who’s concerned with just how affordable or practical it is. Or how safe it is. Then you’re selling the wrong thing. Could be the same car, you may be selling the wrong thing.
You’re saying, boy, this car will go from zero to 60 in 14 seconds. And all they’re thinking is, I want a Volvo with a titanium cage which protects me if I tip over. So even in selling the same product or service, you want to understand what that particular buyer is interested in.
That’s where this idea of qualifying comes in which we’ll talk more about later. But it’s the match between what they need or want, and what you have to offer. And determining what BENEFITS they hope to get. Is it fast acceleration and flashy looks, or is it economy and safety? Both these qualities or benefits might exist in the same car, but they certainly exist within the line of cars at the dealership.
A Tesla is fast AND green, wow, no wonder they sell like crazy!!
Are they qualified? So basically, there are two types of sales. There’s the bad kind, and then there’s the good kind. And there’s definitely a lot of the bad kind going on.
There’s sales which are based on deception and trickery, where you’re not only using what you know about how to get somebody excited about a product, but you’re actually telling them lies about what it does or doesn’t do or misrepresenting the specifications or the price or whatever, just general manipulation.
Selling for the benefit of the salesperson only rather than for the benefit of the customer. And you really have little or no concern for the customer. It’s just a question of making money for yourself, for the company. This really involves short term goals because if you’re cheating people, you really don’t build long term relationships. You may think you are, but you’re not.
Sales training or sales technique is not about learning how to trick people, but how to genuinely help them make decisions that are good for them.
And this also generally involves the high pressure tactics where the offer is going to expire. You see things on websites: there’s the countdown at the top of the page. “You’ve got 9 hours left”. And things like this.
So these are pressure tactics. And it’s tricky because sometimes they’re true, sometimes they’re real. Sometimes there IS a limited quantity left, sometimes it IS a year-end clearance or a pre-inventory sale.
I don’t know what the percentage is, but a very high percent. A lot of these pressure tactics, scarcity and limited-time-offers are not real. They’re just there to get the person to buy. False scarcity. We’ll talk a little about it later.
However, there are valid reasons to get people to buy NOW. To get them to buy from YOU. And there are ways to encourage or convince them that don’t cross the line particularly. But it’s very easy to cross this line and because there’s so much sales going on today with the internet and the reach is so broad that a lot of these “limited time” offers and so forth, are just made up.
Sometimes they’re made up, and sometimes they’re real in a sense that the salesperson has no control over it. Like Black Friday sales.
So the company, the business decides this sale is valid on Black Friday only. So if you don’t buy it by the end of Black Friday, you lose the 30% discount. Now it’s one of those debatable things, but in most cases that’s artificially created, that same 30% could be taken off any day of the week. But nevertheless, maybe in the scheme of the business, they realize they can’t sell the product continuously for 30% off. But these could be loss-leaders.
A loss-leader is simply selling some product at a loss, to get people to come to the store or website where they will buy other things. So there are legitimate ways to do that. There’s a suspicion that Costco sells those baked chickens at a loss. Maybe the chicken cost them $10 after they buy it, prepare it, cook it and so forth. But they sell it for $8.00 so they’re losing $2 on every chicken. But people will come to the store just to get the $8.00 chicken and will buy other things while they are there.
But really it’s just a form of advertising. If you can get people into the store to get that bargain on the chicken, they’ll buy other things. So having a Black Friday sale, maybe it really is not sustainable to sell your products for 30% off the whole year. But if you can get a certain number of people to buy it on that day even for 30% off, then you have other products you’re going to try to sell them, or just the word of mouth is worth it. People tell other people, I bought this thing, and it’s great, and you should buy it too.
So sometimes this scarcity is legitimate, it may be artificial from some point of view, but it’s not really deceptive, it’s legitimate, but just as many times, or more times, it’s completely made up. There is no scarcity. They could pump these things out at that price forever. I don’t want to dwell on that, but because we are going to reach some points where it’s a fuzzy area, I wanted to bring it up. The question may come up, is this sleazy or is this okay, and it’s just the way you need to do it. So maybe we’ll cover that some more later.
Now, did I just make everything confusing or was that kind of understandable?
Okay, so then the good-witch side is telling the truth? That’s the simplest thing. You tell the truth. You rely on effective communication, based on a well-structured presentation that leads the customer through a process where all the questions they should get answered are answered and through the process you are building trust and rapport in ourselves and your company. So when you get to the point where you ask for the order, the prospect WANTS to buy.
The bad-witch or wizard used deception, pressure, and manipulation of various types.
So an ethical sales person does their homework. You know how to sell so that you can present things to people in a way they understand it, and they trust you. They’re happy to buy. You sell for the benefit of the customer. But again, it needs to be mutual. Win-win, mutually beneficial for the customer and the salesperson/company.
You don’t just make sales, and you give the store away, and then you’re out of business next week. So it has to work for both. It has to work for the seller and the buyer. Your underlying purpose is to serve the customer, and you are building long term relationships. And again, in the case of your company, it’s a very ethical, legitimate company and a lot of long term relationships have been built.
And you don’t have to sell these people the next time, the next season, the next cycle. They just call you and say, I want to buy. They don’t even think about going to anyone else because they’ve gone through all that already. Kind of like getting married or something.
And instead of high pressure sales, the customer wants to say yes, they want to buy from you. They say, let’s do it. So here’s where we start getting down into the weeds a little.
The next part will be the five steps or stages of the sale. Sales training by the numbers!