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Pitches and Presentations

Sales is all about talking to people... and that doesn't always come easy, particularly when it's time to give a formal presentation. Here are some ways to make your presentations both fun and productive.

How to Speak to a Group
If you make a lot of complex sales, you probably find yourself giving presentations to large groups instead of to single decision makers. Having a large audience changes the dynamic of your presentation dramatically.

Quick Tip: Pace Your Presentation
As you're making your sales pitch, keep an eye on your prospect's body language and alter your presentation accordingly.

17 Great Presentation Tips
According to psychologists, when most people are asked to rank their fears they put “fear of public speaking” above “fear of death.” In other words, if they're attending a funeral they'd rather be in the casket than giving the eulogy! Any time you make a presentation – whether it's to a prospective customer, the local Chamber of Commerce, or...

4 Classic Sales Techniques
Sales has borrowed heavily from social psychology to develop a few old but useful sales techniques. Do you ever use these approaches in your sales strategy?

Putting Together a Powerpoint Presentation
How many times have you walked into a presentation and cringed when you saw the presenter was setting up a projector? Beat the Powerpoint presentation stereotype by adopting these techniques.

How to Upsell to a Prospect
Does your company sell additional products and services to complement your main product offerings? Then if you don't upsell those items, you're leaving money on the table. Follow these steps and you'll be upselling effectively.

Making a Virtual Sales Presentation
Virtual sales presentations call for different approaches than in-person presentations. You have to compensate for the fact that you can't always see what the prospect is doing.

How to Turbocharge Your Presentation
Sales presentations should be interesting, thought-provoking, inspiring, and fun for all parties. If you don't think that your sales presentation measures up, consider using these tips to turbocharge it.

5 Tips for Successful Virtual Meetings
Virtual meetings are more difficult to run effectively than in-person meetings, but sometimes they're the best - or the only - option. Try these tips to make your virtual meetings more powerful.

Selling Like You're Not a Salesperson
Prospects who don't trust salespeople are extremely resistant to sales "techniques." Instead, try selling the way a non-salesperson would do it.

Doing Sales Research
Preparation makes all the difference between an on-target sales presentation versus one the prospect finds irrelevant or boring. Doing your research ahead of time allows you to build an exquisitely targeted sales presentation.

Why Aren't You Asking Sales Questions?
Are you still giving a generic sales presentation rather than asking the questions that will allow you to fine-tune your sales approach?

Selling to Different Levels
Selling B2B means interacting with decision makers at three different levels - and each level has totally different needs. If you pitch to a top-level decision maker using value statements targeted for a lower level, you won't get very far.

Diagnosing Your Prospects' Needs
When you first arrive at a sales appointment, you probably only have a vague understanding of the prospect's needs. Even worse, he may not fully understand his own needs. Until you know what the problem is, you can't propose a way to fix it.

Selling Beyond Words
You may have all the right words, but are you delivering them in the right way? Weak body language and a poor tone of voice can undermine the best sales presentation.

Price-Obsessed Prospects
Some people are totally focused on up-front costs. It's up to you as a salesperson to show these price-obsessed prospects why they should consider other factors.

Emotional Selling
Just about everybody buys based on emotion and then uses reason to justify their decision after the fact. Even hardened professional buyers aren't immune to emotional selling.

Adding Value at Different Levels
Knowing how to add value can make all the difference in your success as a salesperson. But there's more to adding value than you might think.

Winning over Comparison Shoppers
When prospects start comparing your product to the competitions', do you know how to shift the odds in your favor? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Classifying Prospects
Different prospects respond best to different selling points. But do you know how to break your prospects down into the two major classifications that determine their buying motivators?

When Competitors Cheat
Not all your competitors are as ethical as you are. Here's how to handle the situation when you discover that another salesperson has been spreading lies.

Types of Sales Pitches
Sales pitches are not one-size-fits-all. The right type of pitch will vary depending on your circumstances.

Getting Past the 'No-Men'
When you make a complex sale, it's unlikely that everyone on the decision team will support you. Some of them will do their best to block your sale for one of a variety of reasons. Here are some strategies for dealing with an obstructionist.

Why You Should Give Prospects Homework
When we were in school we all dreaded homework assignments. Yet giving homework to your prospects is a great way to improve your chances of closing the sale.

The Power of Meeting In Person
Communications technology has advanced to the point that virtual meetings are almost as common as face-to-face ones, and phone, email, or even texting are all valid ways to talk business. But the physical meeting still offers the highest level of interaction.

The Benefits of Benefits Statements
Benefit statements are a simple way to tap into your prospect's emotions and sway them into buying. But without the proper groundwork, they're meaningless.

Telling a Sales Story
Telling a story is a time-honored way to sell, but not all salespeople are good storytellers. Here's a format that will help you to write a story that sells in just a few minutes.

Creating Prospect Urgency
If your prospect doesn't feel an urgent need for your product, she's not likely to buy from you. Creating urgency can be all you need to do to hurry a foot-dragging prospect through the sales process.

Sales Jargon to Avoid
Using jargon is almost always a bad idea. That goes double in a sales situation, where these phrases are likely to either annoy or puzzle your prospects.

Overcoming Prospect Inertia
People are afraid of change. If you want your prospects to change their lives by buying your product, you need to give them a pressing reason.

Writing the Elevator Speech
If someone asks you about your job, it's a golden opportunity to spin a sale out of thin air. A good elevator speech is the perfect sales tool for this situation.

Consultative Selling Techniques
Consultative selling is a popular sales technique because it's less aggressive and more client-centric than traditional "hard-sell" methods. Here are some helpful consultative selling techniques to get you started.

Choose Your Words Carefully
People like to feel comfortable. And they usually feel comfortable around other people who are like them. So it follows that, as a salesperson who is trying to build rapport with prospects, you'll want to match your word choice to your prospects.

Confronting Objections
Resolving objections without getting on your prospect's nerves can be tricky. Here are a few tips for handling objections in a non-confrontational way.

7 Things You Should Never Say to a Prospect
As a salesperson your job is to convince people to do something (i.e. buy from you). Here are a few ways to put your foot in your mouth and make sales unlikely.

Turning Presentations Into Conversations
Make your presentation all about the prospect, and you'll catch and keep his interest far more effectively. You can put the focus on him by turning your presentation into a conversation.

Quick Tip: Questioning Prospects
Many salespeople have developed a set “pitch” they use to present the features and benefits of their product. While this simplifies the opening approach to new customers, it is often less effective than a more individualized approach.

26 Questions that Sell
Asking your prospect a series of open-ended questions during your presentation can get your prospects to sell themselves. These examples will help you get started.

Following Up with Prospects
Sales requires persistence. Often your level of urgency is a lot greater than your prospects', and so you'll need to take the burden of following up with them to keep the sale moving to the close.

Build a Winning Sales Presentation
By the end of your sales pitch, how many of your prospects are still listening? If your presentation follows the typical pattern, where you open by talking about your company, move on to talking about your products and perhaps close with a story or two about yourself, the answer is “few to none.”

Overcoming a Bad First Impression
The first impression sets the tone for the rest of the relationship with another person, so making a bad first impression is really unfortunate. It doesn't mean that you've blown the sale, though – it just means you'll have to do a little extra work to override the memory that awkward moment.

Selling to Executives
Selling to executives is a whole other ballpark from regular B2B sales. If you don't want to be sent back to the minors, a few precautions are in order.

How to Pitch to the CEO
If you've managed to nail down a sales appointment with a CEO or other C-suite executive, you need to be ready to put in some extra effort. CEOs are looking for some very specific results from a sales meeting.

Selling to Small Businesses
Small business owners are far different as prospects from the decision makers you'll meet at large corporations. Understanding their goals and their fears is crucial to selling to this market.

Selling to Multiple Decision Makers
Selling to one person is tough enough. When two or more people have to sign off on the deal, selling becomes a lot more complicated.

Selling to Salespeople
Do you dread selling to another salesperson? Then you're missing the possibilities. After all, you'll never get a more sympathetic audience.

The Power of Testimonials
Testimonials are a powerful way to prove your product's worth. If you have a few testimonials in hand, you can show a prospect how “someone just like you” bought the same product they're considering, and benefited from it.

Collecting Customer Testimonials
Testimonials are a powerful sales tool when handled correctly. And customer testimonials are often the most effective type, since they are also the most believable. The wise salesperson will gather a group of testimonials for use in convincing prospects to buy.

Selling When You're Not the Cheapest
Whatever you sell, odds are that someone else is selling a product like it but cheaper. How do you show prospects that they're still better off buying from you?

Kicking the Jargon Habit
Don't make the mistake of filling your sales presentation (and your conversations) with jargon and corporate buzzwords. Here's how you can kick the jargon habit.

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