Sales Meetings, that is..In fact, B2B sellers waste, on average, over $38,000** per year in direct costs on meetings that go nowhere and 62% of initial meetings do not progress to next meeting.***
As the purchaser of services for 18 years I have a few secrets that I teach my clients on what to do to make sure that you actually close that sales meeting and avoid the never-ending-cycle of dead-end meetings that go nowhere.
It’s About Them Them Them
My favourite saying to clients is to have ‘self-amnesia’. During sales presentations, stop talking about yourself. Start right away by talking about them and their challenges and how you’ll be helping those challenges. It’s always all about them.
A client recently crushed their sales presentation to a museum that was having a grand opening. We built the entire presentation around their potential pain points. Would people keep attending past the big opening date? Would they even come to the opening because of Covid? Would Millennials be interested in history and how could we get them to engage for years to come? These were the pillars of the presentation and they rocked it, walking away with (almost) a one-meeting-close. Just a reminder that you need to source your information and tell the prospect that you are ASSUMING that this is their pain. If you blindly keep presenting to the wrong pain, you’ll miss a huge mark. So remember to always check in with the decision makers in the room as you’re presenting about their true perceived pain.
Why Current Solution Isn’t Working
Your biggest hurdle to a sale isn’t a competitor, it’s inertia. Status quo for buyers is a coveted comfort blanket because according to research half of B2B buyers refuse to bring in a new vendor or service because of the fear of losing their job or losing face. So it’s up to you to point out why that’s such a bad idea and how it will build into a huge problem for your prospect. If you don’t address the elephant in the room, you’re toast.
Stories Are Not Just For Kids
Adults love them too. In fact, research shows that emotions are highly involved with all buying decisions of every level and category. So build the message around stories of past client successes and challenges. It’s a win-win because not only are stories engaging but they also illustrate your solution and success.
Talk For Only 9 Mins at a Time
Ever flipped channels while you were watching TV? Well, prospects who are watching a presentation also want to do that. According to research, they lose attention at the 9 minute mark when someone is presenting. So, intersperse your presentation with a two-way dialogue. Have other presenters take the helm after 9 mins. Think of some way to break it up.
Send Deck Before
This is a ninja level trick that I never tried but sounds like a great strategy to me. If the prospect is really interested, they’ll read ahead and then you can start by asking them where they’d like to begin. If they haven’t read it, they’ll say ‘just start from the beginning’ but if they’re interested and invested in the info, you’ll shortcut a lot of unnecessary conversation and get straight to the point.
So the next time you have a sales presentation meeting, try these tips and tricks to make sure that you’re not participating in yet another meeting that literally goes nowhere.
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*source: Altify Business Performance Benchmark 2017
***source: Altify Study 2016