Every sales presentation reaches a point of explaining how the proposition works. In even the most energetic of presentations, this element can drastically slow down any pitch. If the explanation is too long, too complicated or just plain boring, you may look across the desk from you and see your prospect’s eyes begin to glaze over. If you are pitching over the phone, this is often the point where you detect a noticeable change in the voice and tone of your prospect.
The important thing to remember in this stage of your presentation is that you should not be trying to explain how your product/service works. Instead, with this step, your objective should be to explain that your proposition is simple enough to work. This means that if you do have a long and complicated process, now is not the time to explain it.
Take the following example: Samuel has approached a work colleague about an opportunity to make money on the side. Having a prior relationship with his colleague, allowed Samuel to present his business opportunity as the answer to all of the problems they had discussed in the past. Though his colleague seems more than interested at the beginning of Samuel’s presentation, he visibly loses interest when Samuel starts to explain the complicated compensation plan.
The organization with which Samuel is involved compensates associates with a binary system. The system requires that recruitment occurs equally in two arms of the business. Samuel pulls out a complicated tree chart that attempts to explain how this process will work. When he does, he notices that his colleague begins to look at the door as though waiting for his chance to escape. Why did Samuel lose his prospect even though he was previously very interested?
There are two extremes that you should avoid when approaching the subject of how your product/service works. The first is confusion. When you have a long and complicated process, consider how much of it your prospects actually need to understand. In this example, Samuel actually started by trying to explain the most complicated facet of the organization, it’s compensation structure. Though it would certainly be one of the main considerations for any potential recruit, a detailed explanation of the chart could follow once Samuel’s prospect is more committed to the idea.
The second important factor to avoid is missing out pertinent details. As you seek to eliminate any confusing information from your presentation, be careful not to weed out any information that may actually help your prospects see how well-suited your products are for their needs. Should Samuel have any great success stories of people who made more money in this binary system than they would have in a less complicated compensation plan, he should certainly mention that. He just doesn’t need to go into the technical details behind it just yet.
When Samuel reworks his presentation to leave out complicated details but still include relevant information, he will dispense with the complicated payout chart. All technical language and data will disappear and be replaced by features and benefits. Better still, they will be described in terms that present a solution to problems his prospect faces.
Action step: go over your product/service explanation. Take out any technical information and group together complicated processes so that you can present them as simple steps.
Many times, presentations are rejected purely because prospects cannot see how the proposition will work. If you complicate your presentation with technical information and irrelevant explanations, you risk assuring your potential buyers that if they say “yes,” to your proposition, you will make their lives more difficult. Instead, focus on a simple explanation that will help you convince your prospects that your product/service will actually make their lives easy.