What You Say When You Make A Sales Presentation.
For advice about the sales process, we asked a super-salesman who is now retired if he would share some of his sales techniques. He agreed, on the condition that we would not divulge his name or company, so we will call him Carl Kruger. We can tell you that Carl Kruger worked in the lighting industry, selling lighting fixtures to distributors and electrical contractors.
The Sales Presentation Process
by Carl Kruger
Everything starts with a positive mind set. When you make your presentation, failing is never an option
Your tactics will change, depending on whether you are presenting to the buyer, the general manager, the owner, or all together.
I never asked them questions, as I made it my business to learn the background of the person and company before I made my presentation. I always knew in advance their strengths and weaknesses. I also knew who my competition was and I knew my competitors’ products as well as I knew my own.
The presentation assault began with countless success stories that demonstrated why my company was the proven leader.
The product presentations were always high energy. In fact, some of my converted customers called me the “Billy Graham of Lighting.”
I never asked them if they agreed with my statements. I told them that they did agree with everything I was telling them. Throughout the presentation I would project comments such as ” I know you agree that my products are far better than what you have been stocking”; ” I know you agree that our marketing plan is far superior”; “We can all agree that your position in the marketplace will now be superior to what it has been in your market”; “We can also agree that your profit margins will increase,” etc., etc., etc. I called this pattern of positive statements the “Funnel Effect.” Throughout the presentations my head was always moving up and down, never sideways.
When I presented to a buyer, I told him that I was going to make him a “hero” with his company. With upper-tier personnel I emphasized that my products would increase their turnover and bottom-line profit.
I told distributors that it was imperative that our main products were to be stocked in greater depth than any previous competitor’s products to enhance their new image with their area customers (i.e. with electrical contractors/builders). They would now never have to back-order key products as their competitive distributors always seemed to do. (That would give the distributor carrying our products a competitive advantage over other electrical distributors in the area.)
I always insisted that my presentations take place in their conference room–with no telephone calls, as this was very important to them.
I always had my sales group do an inventory on the competitive products, and at the conclusion of the meeting I handed the decision-maker an order that I had already made out for him to sign. I extended my hand to shake his hand (or their hands) that we were all in agreement
Other items always included additional billing to assist in the inventory flow and a percentage of competitor product buy-backs. I guaranteed success for their company, and it always happened.
Most important was setting up a total sales meeting with everyone. I and my salesmen would work the entire week changing over their customers and getting orders.
Sounds like hard work doesn’t it? Well, it was. Success doesn’t come easy! My success rate was in the high 90% range.
It was imperative to close the sale and get the order with the new distributorship that very day. You absolutely could not take the chance that your competition would get a second chance to take a shot at you.
I have witnessed good presentations from salesmen, and then they say, “Think it over and let me know.” How dumb is that? The chances for the order drop dramatically.
You have one function and one only: get the order now.
Sometimes I ran into personal friendships between the distributor and my competitors. By emphasizing a surprisingly better bottom line, more market share, and a better and fuller product line, I was able to overcome this obstacle.
I was one of seven regional mangers with hundreds of salesmen. During a seven-year period, our company had 22 sales competitions between all the managers. I won 21 and tied 1. I was asked to be national sales manager as a result. A few years later I started my own multi-million dollar sales agency, and retired at age 56
There were many variations of this sales presentation, but it did become easier and easier through the years.
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