Making the Sales Presentation and Demonstration
Persuasive communication is at the heart of the selling process, and the sales presentation/demonstration is the critical center stage or “showtime” for salespeople. After asking the customer qualifying questions to uncover specific needs, the salesperson presents the products and services that will best satisfy those needs; highlights their features, advantages, and benefits; and stimulates desire for the offerings with a skillful demonstration. Prospects are primarily interested in the benefits being offered them. Product features and advantages are important only if they can be tied directly to a specific benefit the prospect is seeking. For instance, pointing out a flat-screen monitor feature when demonstrating a new desktop computer does not mean much to a prospect unless the salesperson explains the related benefits of taking up less desk space, reducing eye strain, and increasing employee productivity. Success in this stage requires development of carefully tailored and practiced strategies, including a convincing product demonstration. It’s been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, and a demonstration is worth a thousand pictures. One successful sales representative always carried a hammer and a plate of his company’s unbreakable glass with him to demonstrate its strength. One day, instead of hitting the glass with the hammer himself, he let the prospect do it. From then on, his sales soared as he continued letting customers swing the hammer. Salespeople should always try to get their prospects involved in demonstrating the product or “trying it out,” so they can gain confidence in using it. A dog-and-pony show, no matter how elaborate, seldom succeeds because prospects usually see its focus as selling the product instead of solving their problems. Salespeople who use skillful questioning and reactive listening while prospects describe their needs can often adjust their sales presentation and...
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