How do you know when it’s time to start your presentation?

clockHow do you know when it’s time to start your actual sales presentation? Wouldn’t it be nice if there was specific time such as 12 minutes into the conversation? You could set a timer on your phone to vibrate in your pocket when it’s time to move into the presentation. If only it were that simple. But it’s not.

We’re selling our wares to people. And no matter how much scientific knowledge we have about human beings, no two selling situations will be identical. Therefore, we have to feel our way along during some of the stages of the sales process. With experience, you’ll get to where you make the transition intuitively. But until then, it’s wise to use a mental checklist of what needs to be accomplished before you’ll have enough information to proceed.

Here’s a list of what I recommend. It’s time to move into your presentation when:

  1. You’ve established a comfortable level of rapport with the potential clients. This could happen quickly in retail situations. It could take up the whole initial visit if you’re selling high-end products.
  2. Your buyers have told you about their basic needs regarding your product.
  3. You have discovered that you’re speaking with people who can make ownership decisions.
  4. The funds are available for a purchase to be made today.
  5. You know which your buyers are most concerned about: value or price.

The last four items above are all part of an effective qualifying process. If you’re in doubt about how ask for that information without seeming abrupt or pushy, you’ll want to read chapter 8 of When Buyers Say No. The information you’ll have gained when all five of those things have been accomplished will tell you how you might need to adjust your presentation, or your product offering, and what negotiation points to expect to use when it’s time to close the sale.

If you jump into your presentation before gaining this knowledge you may end up presenting a product or solution that’s just not right for the buyer.

Copyright Tom Hopkins International, Inc.