George was excited about doing his first full-length sales presentation. Getting past the secretary, getting the first appointment and now going back to meet with the committee, this is what sales is all about, he thought. And to make sure that everything went well, Harold, his sales manager was going with him.
“Well, George, are you all set for your first dog and pony?” asked Harold.
“My what?” responded George.
“Dog and pony, that’s what salespeople call sales presentations. You trot out the dog, show the audience all the tricks. Bring on the pony and show how the dog does tricks with the pony.”
“Well, I suppose . . . I never thought of a sales presentation that way.”
“Get used to it. The prospects like to be entertained a bit before you go in for the close.”
George gave his presentation, and unfortunately, the prospects did not place an order. Coming back in the car, Harold offered some words of advice.
“George, you certainly know the product well enough, but you didn’t do enough flash. Not enough dog and pony. You’ve got to make the presentation more entertaining, get them excited.”
“Yeah, I guess so,” nodded George glumly.
“Hey, don’t worry. That’s why I went with you. There are some jokes I think you ought to try on the next show-and-tell. Get them laughing and then get them signing, that’s my motto.”
If the prospect is trying to decide on buying a dog or a pony, then doing a dog and pony show might be appropriate.
Sales presentations are, nine times out of ten, a meeting during which the salesperson does the following:
Throws as much information as possible about his company, his products and his past customers at the wall.
Tries to determine what sticks on the wall and, as a result, seems to be of interest to the assembled.
Hopes that the products of interest are the ones for which he has the brochures.
Prays that when it is confirmed which products are of interest, they are in stock or immediately available.
This method of doing sales presentations is exhausting, frustrating, and while it will result in sales about two times out of ten, it generally does not produce a decent income for the salesperson.
A sales presentation should consist of only the following:
The four or five problems the prospect has that you can solve.
A restatement that your solution is within the dollar range the prospect can afford.
Confidence that you are making this presentation to the person who will make the decision.
To include anything else in the presentation is self-defeating. At the conclusion of your presentation, you need only ask one question, “What would you like to do now?”
If you are selling dogs and ponies, then by all means give a dog and pony presentation. If you are selling anything else, then why are you doing a dog and pony?
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