Adaptability is key for effective sales presentations

Veteran salespeople know that sales presentations can occur under the most challenging circumstances. You can’t always count on the sales call going just as you like. Versatility is the name of the game. Or to put it another way, go with the flow. As is the case with public speaking, sales presentations test and hone your presentation skills. And your patience.

sales presentations, effective sales presentations, sales callsA recent sales call, while not the most challenging I have faced, proved to be a good learning experience nonetheless. There were two noteworthy components.

1. Less-than-ideal setting. The only space the business owner could offer was a storage room that doubled as his office. With no table to congregate around, we had to stand. On top of that, it was a bit warm and we had to contend with the electronic “dong” from the front door and occasional interruption from an employee.

Despite that, we plowed on. Having to stand was the most challenging part. That alone is uncomfortable, for both the salesperson and client. Consequently, there’s the possibility the client will become distracted and lose interest.

A table would’ve helped, too, by allowing us to fan out our documents. Instead, we handed them as a small stack, and thumbed through them as needed. The business owner followed along well. We had to present just one document at a time, but that worked out OK. One important point here is that you hand over and discuss each document carefully. In difficult situations there’s a tendency to rush through the presentation. Pace yourself so that each component of your material is presented thoroughly.

2. Covering a lot of material in a brief period. Our program has several facets and can take at least 20 minutes to explain thoroughly. We tried to keep the initial discussion to about 15. Thankfully the client grasped the details rather quickly. Even so, I anticipate being in touch with him quite a bit in the next few days.

Of course, salespeople rarely are granted the amount of time they would like. Clients and prospects are busy, so it is our responsibility to cut the fat from the presentation. Or, as one famous TV detective liked to say, “Just the facts, ma’am.” Taking another cue from public speaking, it’s always helpful to rehearse your sales presentation several times.

For related reading, see “Important tips for building sales” and “8 steps to ensure more success in sales.”

What challenging sales presentations have you faced? Feel free to leave a comment. If you found value with this post, could you do me a favor and share it with others? You may use any of the buttons below. That way others will benefit from what you and I have written. To contact me, send an email.

Tom Fuszard, content writer, blog writing, pr writing, web copy Follow me on Twitter.
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