Ending Your Presentation

by Alvin Day - Date: 2007-08-01 - Word Count: 685 Share This!

How secure is a yes attained at the close of a sales presentation? For many sales professionals, this yes is the all important final goal. It's something they strive for at the end of their presentation as though the attainment of the word is as good as money in the bank. In truth, this is not always the case. There is something far more important that sales professionals should seek to secure at the end of their presentations, an agreement upon action.

Have you ever heard the word "yes" at the end of a presentation, only to find that days, weeks, months later the sale never did come through? This happens because of the following important principle: a yes without action is the same as a no. When you understand this, you will begin to leave your prospects with an agreement upon action, something that will detail the important next steps that must take place in order for you to get the sale rather than allowing them the simple evasion of just saying yes.

Take the following example: Andrea gives a convincing presentation after which her prospect says "yes," to her proposition. Not wanting to stay on the subject for fear that he will change his mind, Andrea moves on to discuss the next promotion and doesn't bring the first proposal up again. She leaves his office with a confident handshake, pleased that she has just made a sale.

After the presentation, Andrea sends over the necessary paperwork to get the deal in motion but has trouble reaching her prospect. She never gets the forms back and is unable to get him on the phone to talk him through the process. In the end, the promotion period comes and goes without Andrea making the sale. She wonders why her prospect said yes in the first place if he, in fact, never planned to buy.

Andrea is experiencing how weak a simple verbal agreement can be in a sales situation. Now that she has left his office, she cannot get her prospect to take action, fill out forms or even return her phone calls. In truth, she felt a little uncertain about the sale which is why she was so eager to leave the office without bringing it up again. An agreement that does not get specific is easier to obtain than one that lays out all of the requirements before the buyer says yes.

As nice as it is to hear the word yes in a sales situation, Andrea should not have left her prospect's office satisfied with this answer. She needs to make sure that the customer is actually saying yes to the steps he will need to take in order to finalize the sale. Her dialogue might sound something like this. "Well then, since this all makes sense to you let's fill out this order form and I'll talk to your warehouse manager about storage space before I leave. You'll need to give this to your purchasing department so they can cut a purchase order and I'll come by to pick it up on Wednesday." If your prospect has no intention of following through with his "yes," you'll find out at this stage.

Action step: Turn your close into a "next steps" agreement. Break down your buying process into three or four simple steps and make sure that when a customer is interested in your product or service, you get him or her to specifically agree to these "next steps" instead of just saying yes.

At the end of your sales presentation, be sure that you get an answer that counts. When you have a prospect willing to say yes, push them further to agree to the specific steps involved in rolling out your proposal. Unless you have these action steps laid out and agreed upon, your close will be as uncertain as if your proposal had been met with a maybe.

Alvin Day is a Sales Training and Personal Empowerment coach who has helped many sales professionals reach and exceed their goals. For more on Alvin Day's Sales Training tools and resources visit www.theultimatesalesmanual.com.

Related Tags: sales training, sales strategies, sales success, earn more, increase income, sales pitches

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