… continued from last week …
Step 6: ESTABLISH BUSINESS NEED
Once you have established rapport, the next step is to communicate your understanding of their personal or business needs. For example, “We have gone through your operations and we observed that your business is losing a lot of money because of the manual payment system you are currently using.” or “As a start-up company, we perceive that you may need some financial support to help you maximise the huge potential of your business.” or “The greatest concern of every nursing mother who cannot do exclusive breastfeeding is how to ensure that the substitute is as good as the natural breast milk.”
This is an important next step in your sales presentation because it assures the prospect that you have not come to waste their time. They will begin to think, “Well, if she knows our need or challenges, let’s pay attention to her solution.” Your understanding and communication of the business need will be bespoke and further enhanced if you have done a good research about the prospect, her business, company, competitors or industry at the preparation stage of your presentation. Present your findings, data and analysis at this stage.
If establishing rapport targets the mind, communicating understanding of business needs knocks on the door to the head.
Step 7: PRESENT YOUR SOLUTION
This is the persuading and influencing phase of your presentation. This is where you either win or lose the market share. How do you present your product or service in a logical, easy-to-follow-and-understand sequence? Here is a guide.
- Make a claim about your product. Immediately after communicating your understanding of the needs of the prospect or customer, introduce your solution or product with a claim. For example, “We have gone through your operations and noticed that you are losing huge sums of money because of the manual payment system you are currently using. We have therefore developed the safest payment solution for your company.” The word safest in the above statement is a claim word.
A claim is an assertion with which you introduce a product to a prospect or customer. Claim words include: fastest, newest, cheapest, best, oldest, biggest, most convenient, unique, bespoke, most cost effective, most recognised, fastest growing, highest. Remember that the claim you make about the product must speak to the need and situation of the prospect. For instance, if you are presenting to a prospect whose concern is durability, you may say, “We observed that you frequently change the batteries in your car. We have therefore manufactured or sourced the most durable or the longest lasting batteries in Nigeria”.
- Substantiate your claim. The next step about making a claim about your product is to show a credible proof that your claim is true. What evidence do you have to validate your claim? Facts are used in sales presentations to eliminate any doubt the prospect may have about your product or service. Note that sometimes, the prospect will not voice out her doubt about your claim. But if you do not authenticate your claim, the doubt may persist and you may loose the business. There are many things you can use to corroborate your claim. They include:
- Other customers’ testimonials. Who like the prospect is using or has used your product? What has been their experience? Any evidence?
- Awards from credible sources. For example, “We have consistently won the Nigeria Standards Organisation’s award for best quality.”
- Comparative data and analysis. Do you have empirical data or evidence that shows how long other batteries last and how long yours lasts?
- Demonstration and sampling. You may also choose to demonstrate the working of your product to the prospect. For instance, if you made a claim that the screen of the phone you are selling is the most rugged in Nigeria, you may which to throw the phone on the floor to prove your claim.
- Guarantees. You may also use warranties and guarantees, including money back guarantees to back up your claim.
- Talk about the Features of the product. The prospect or customer would like to know what the product does, how the product works, the elements of the products, the conditions and terms of acquisition, etc. Product features are characteristics of your product that describe its functionality, appearance, components, and capabilities.Be careful not to be too verbose in talking about the features of your product. Every feature you highlight should be linked to benefits for the customer. Features don’t guarantee sales, unless those features enhance performance expectations. For instance, if you go to a car shop to buy a car and the sales agent shows you two cars manufactured the same year by the same maker, same colour and seemingly same functionalities. When you now ask for the price, he tells you that one is N12 million and the other one is N15 million. Then you ask why and he explains to you that the car with a N12 million price tag has six air bags, a manually activated child lock system, travels 200 kilometres per hour, etc. However, the one priced at N15 million has eight air bags, a child lock system that automatically activates once a child weighing less than 40kg enters the car and can travel 350 kilometres per hour.
My question is, if you do not have kids or relatives weighing below 40kg will you pay an extra N3 million for an automatic child lock feature? If you don’t plan to use the car for racing, will you pay an extra N3 million for 350 kilometre/hour feature?
So, you can see that as good as the features may appear, because they do not confer any real advantage to you, you will not buy it.
… to be continued …