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Adapt Your Presentation.

Dot Points

  • Start by asking the client questions to find their WIIFM.

(What’s In It For Me).

  • Ask questions, listen.
  • Just delivering the sales presentation has a low success rate.
  • Adapt your presentation to the client’s needs and wants.

A few years ago, I broke my ankle and I was on crutches for a while. Suddenly I had to adapt to a new way of getting around. My environment had changed, stairs and escalators were a whole new deal and my steep driveway was a white-knuckle ride until I learned to slow down, adapt to my environment and use the equipment properly.

It made me think about adapting a presentation.

I want to talk about adapting your presentation by finding out what your client needs.

Why would you adapt the sales presentation?  

Think of each new client as a new environment and you need to understand who this client is and what they want.

When you first start in sales, you are usually given a script to learn and to use when you meet clients. It is a blunt instrument used to beat a client into submission.

Sometimes it works, sometimes you’ll get the sale, mostly it’s a disaster. The client sees it for what it is and scuttles off with an empty promise to think about it.

You just lost a client.

I remember early in my sales days I was selling superannuation and savings plans in the days before compulsory super. I met with a client, a man in his mid-twenties, a young professional on the way up, in many ways a perfect client, he was making good money and would continue to move up the ranks. He wanted to take care of his finances into the future.

He was interested and obviously keen and I thought I had the sale in the bag. A little way into the presentation his eyes started to glaze over.

I was losing this guy and couldn’t do anything about it. The more I pushed the presentation the less interested he became.

I watched him just go cold and I had no idea what to do.

I lost the sale that day, there was business to be had and I lost it.

Just banging out your presentation is a very low percentage activity, I didn’t stop talking, nor did I ask my client any questions.

think of each client and what they want.

How do you find out about this client?

Ask questions!!

Find their WIIFM, in case you haven’t heard the term it means What’s In It For Me.

Every client has a WIIFM

Every client has needs and wants and your job as a sales person is to find out what they are and to satisfy them.

Every now and then you will get the magic client, you deliver your presentation, they say: “Yes that’s just the thing for me. I will buy it from you right now.” That is magic and it is rare.

The most important thing is to engage with your client, find out what they want, why they want it, how they’re going to use it and so on. All these questions will come up in the process of discovering the WIIFM, the What’s In It For Me. When you can find out what your client wants, what is the reason they’re there, what is the reason they’re talking to you, then you can then deliver a presentation that will be relevant and meaningful to your client.

When you ask questions, it gets them engaged with you. They have to think about their answers and respond to you.

Very important.

If you just start banging out your script, you can quickly lose them; they start thinking about the shopping list or what they’ve got to do later on today, a meeting they’ve got in a couple of days’ time. They may be nodding and smiling, but their mind is somewhere else.

You need to ask your client questions, get them engaged and focused with you so you can find out what they want and then deliver your presentation accordingly.

If you want to do the right thing by your client stop talking and start listening. Ask them questions first and use your presentation to respond to the questions.

Ask questions.

This is where, with experience, you learn how to find out what they want and deliver according to their needs.

If you want their business the first thing to do is ask questions, then follow up, clarify and so on. (I’ll get into this part more in another post).

The answers you get will guide you into your presentation so that you know you are giving your client the information they need and that you are delivering in a way that they that is meaningful to them.

 To summarise: ask your client questions to find out their WIIFM. Use their answers to guide your presentation.

I will speak soon about looking at your presentation and how to adapt it.

See you soon.

Dan Holliday, Speaker Coach, MC.