Prepare Questions…Not Presentations

powerpoint cartoonThe sales meeting begins.

  • The salesperson starts talking through a PowerPoint presentation slide deck (which took him several hours to complete) telling the customer how great the salesperson’s company and products are.
  • 30 minutes later the presentation is complete.
  • And 30 minutes after that, the salesperson walks out of the customer’s office empty-handed.

This exact scenario will take place countless times today, tomorrow, and every day for the foreseeable future.

As salespeople, don’t we ever learn?

The customer does not care how great we are until they know how we can solve their problem. The customer is only tuned into one radio station: WII-FM (What’s in it for me).

To determine what is in it for the customer and what their hot buttons are, the astute salesperson prepares for all of her sales meetings with questions.

  • What is the biggest challenge facing your company?
  • What do you wish your current supplier did better?
  • What is the one area of your business that you would most like to improve?
  • What are your key priorities for this year?

Once the salesperson knows what the customer cares about, she can zero in on how her products or services can solve that problem for the customer. If she needs to have a visual to support her argument, she can then pull up a few slides that discuss exactly (and only) the issue that she is discussing with the customer.


In summary…

  1. Prepare questions
  2. Ask the questions
  3. Listen and learn
  4. Focus on the customer’s stated problem
  5. Clearly show you can solve the customer’s stated problem
  6. Stop talking
  7. Get the sale

That’s All.


About David Shedd

David has been a President - CEO - COO of an up to $350M group of manufacturing, distribution, specialty retail and services companies, having led 22 different businesses from turnarounds to start-ups to fast growth companies.
This entry was posted in Growth and Strategy, Perform / Execution, Sales and Marketing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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