Low-Tech Presentations

By Kimberly L. McCall

Some sales pros get so overwhelmed by gadgetry – from overheads to Palm Pilots – they forget that what’s truly important is focusing on the buyer’s needs, says George Ludwig (www.georgeludwig.com), author of Power Selling: Seven Strategies for Cracking the Sales Code (Dearborn Financial Publishing, 2004), and president of the Cary, Illinois-based GLU Consulting, a firm that trains more than 10,000 people each year for companies including Sprint, Southwest Airlines and Johnson & Johnson. Ludwig offers the following tips for those wishing to eschew all the special effects for a more powerful presentation.

Keep the focus on the buyer. Salespeople err by trying to impress buyers with a fancy presentation instead of letting the presentation be a natural evolution that flows from a thorough discovery. Focusing on the buyer instead of hardware will prompt the buyer, rather than the salesperson, to do most of the talking.

Assume the role of Dr. Salesperson. Assume the role of a doctor with a great bedside manner. Encourage the client-patient to share his or her pains, problems, goals and desires.

Let other clients tell your story. Present success stories from other clients in the same industry to the prospect. Success stories can go miles beyond PowerPoint or fancy high-tech presentations to win over a buyer.

Show them proof. Share your client list, testimonial letters and the phone numbers of satisfied clients. This offering of proof lowers buyers’ suspicions more than any high-tech device ever could.

Listen better than the competition. Salespeople can win by listening better than their competitors, by sharing better stories and by presenting only the product benefits the buyer deems important.

Take careful notes. Thoughtful note taking communicates several key things to a buyer: Diagnosing is more important to you than presenting, you’re a pro, the client has the floor and your undivided attention, you’re serious about the situation, you’re a good listener and you’ll follow up.