Posted on 06 Mar 02
For years, as a salesperson and as a sales manager, I have watched potential sales disappear because the prospect was interested in only price. This was so bothersome, that I established a fining system within the agency. Anyone who said the word "QUOTE" was fined $1.00. The money was used to supplement the cost of a staff party at the end of the year. The word QUOTE signifies only one thing………Price!
My agencies made it a point to tell prospects and clients that we would give them a presentation or a proposal, not a quote. Even with this and the use of the 3 step sales approach taught by many sales training organizations, the buyer would look at the price page and ignore the benefits being espoused by the salesperson.
Several years ago, I was visiting my friend, Jerry, who was then the manager of the Fred S. James office in San Diego. He showed me a sales presentation that they were using and having great success with. It involved the use of a laptop computer and a large television screen. The equipment was set up in their conference room and Jerry told me that all important new business sales presentations were made there. The presentation was done in color with graphics and video clips.
Jerry told me that the very first time this method was used, they secured the account for the largest Gas Company in San Diego. As a matter of fact, the clients representative said to him, "Our company is on the cutting edge of technology and it appears so is yours."
The reasons for the success of this method of presentation are both subtle and obvious. First, there is an old axiom of sales…."People come to buy, you go to sell." By showing the prospect your neat, efficient and well-run office (it is isn't it?), you obtain substantial credibility. Secondly, if you prepare a proper presentation, which shows your Unique Selling Position, agency services, history, kudos, etc., you can justify your pricing, even if you're a little higher than the competition.
I learned early on that results are lots more important that activities. Agencies that have used this method of presentation have increased their close ratios by as much as 25%.
The presentation can be as fancy or as plain as you wish. If you have the ability in-house to create a colorful presentation, go ahead and do it yourself. You can use a program like PS/4 for the some of data/boilerplate and snazz it up some by including pictures, graphs and video clips. If you don't have the ability to do it yourself, hire an expert to help you design and create one that will work with your type of customers or niche markets.
You then need a laptop computer and either a large screen TV or an LCD projector. I would lean towards the projector. The costs have come down substantially in the last several years. I bought one in 1995 for $11,500. Recently I saw a comparable projector being sold for approximately $2,000.
Suffice to say that if you want to make more and bigger sales, drastically improve your hit ratio, and promote your agency in a professional light, I suggest you consider and implement the use of visual sales presentations. For more help creating and customizing this type of sales presentation, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
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