Using Presentation Skills to Close a Sale

How do you measure whether a presentation is successful? This is not a riddle, because the answer is obvious. A successful presentation leads to a customer sale. The words “closed sale” hold a certain magic in the business world, because they mean a person or business has decided a product or service your company sells will meet a particular need.

But for the sales person there is also a personal success element that makes the words “closed sale” even more spectacular. But it can be a long difficult road from initial contact to the final agreement if the presentation is not handled correctly.

A sales presentation is obviously a method used to convince a prospective customer to become a buying customer. But presentation skills are used in a variety of circumstances.

o Telephone sales presentation
o Group presentation
o One on one personal selling

A sales presentation should not be considered as something that is always elaborate and time consuming. It may be a simple 3 minute conversation in a call centre with a customer trying to decide if a particular product will meet his or her needs. If the sales representative says the right things, the customer will purchase what is being offered. But if the representative is unprepared or uninformative, the prospect will probably go to a competitor to buy what is needed.

Customer Rapport

Developing presentation skills to close a sale is best achieved through sales training led by a qualified professional. By accessing specialised training using work-specific situations including workshops and even role playing, it is possible to develop presentation skills which teach staff how to successfully close sales at a higher rate.

Effective sales presentations require a lot more than reading prepared telephone scripts or flashing computerised displays on a wall. The presentation must have certain characteristics which are adaptive to the situation. The presentation should have the following features:

* Informative
* Offers customer based solutions to a need
* Adaptive to situation
* Establishes rapport with customer
* Well prepared without looking or sounding as if it is a recording
* Contains information consistent with company mission
* Tailored to audience

Of course, presentation skills training includes more than presentation content preparation. The information in the material must be conveyed in a way that leads to a closed sale, conflict resolution, or meets any other intention. An excellent presentation requires the development of techniques which lead to audience commitment.

Coaching staff in how to use presentation skills to close a sale is a marketing strategy for increasing sales and profits, but it also gives staff the confidence to do their job well. With each closed sale comes renewed confidence leading to improved on-the-job performance and morale.

The Beginning to End of Presentations

Presentation skills are tools employees and managers can use in a variety of situations. Closing a sale often requires much more than just describing a product or service.

* Being able to respond authoritatively to customer questions in a way that resolves concerns
* Satisfying difficult customers
* Creating an environment which promotes customer satisfaction with the company
* Providing effective personal contact or telephone service
* Developing listening skills in order to better understand customer needs
* Developing questioning and responding techniques

Closing a sale is often the most difficult step in the selling process. Presentation skills include developing all the abilities needed to take initial contact with a customer through to the final sale.

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