Sales Presentation Tips: It’s A Conversation

When I was early in my career, I was a bulldozer.  Plain and simple.  A “you’re either with me or your against me” kind of mentality.

So, in my sales presentations, it was all about what I had and why you needed it.  I thought being a good sales presenter meant being good at convincing the person across the table to buy… right?

Not exactly.

Of course, I’d heard the advice to, “Focus on what they want, not what you want,” but the honest truth was, I figured they wanted what I had, or I was going to convince them that they did, so then I would get what I want.  I didn’t understand that what it really meant was, to ask the right questions to find what they really want, and then find connections (if there are any) between those things and what I was offering.

Another thing was (and still is to this day), I’m naturally not a big “small talker.”  I like to get to the point.  I don’t want to talk about the weather… your kids sports… politics… or anything that’s not pertinent to what we’re here to accomplish.

Now, there is such a thing as entirely too much small talk.  You, know… the kind of people who ramble on about their interests or their opinion without giving you so much as a pause.  You don’t want to be “that guy”… but you do want to express a sincere interest in your prospect.  More than that, you want to have a sincere interest!

So here’s the Sales Presentation Tip for today:   Your Presentation is a Conversation.

If you are doing an opportunity presentation or even a product conversation, don’t be so quick to run into your pitch.  Don’t be so quick to pull out your laptop, or run your video, do your flipchart, or whatever it is you have.

In my mind, I’m always interviewing.

When I’m having a conversation, in my mind (especially if I’m doing an opportunity presentation), I’m interviewing.  I’m not looking to “sell them” into my opportunity.

Think about it:   If you were hiring an employee, would you be on trial, or would the employee?  Ideally, it’s a reciprocal thing… you’re both evaluating the other to determine if the job is a good fit to the candidate.  But typically, the employer is in the stronger position to say “yes” or “no,” because the next applicant is waiting out in the lobby.

Similarly, if you’re seeking business partners for a venture, there’s reciprocity in evaluating the deal.  Is the partner right for your venture, and is the venture compatible with the potential partner’s goals?  You don’t want to “convince” the wrong person to join you in the deal, and then end up stuck with dead weight, or worse.

Your mindset should be the same in your network marketing company.  If you truly believe that you have a real, quality opportunity for the person across the table, who should be asking the questions?  You should.

Skeptical Prospects.

If you come off “pitchy,” like you are trying to “get somebody”, you are going to seem desperate.   It’s going to seem like what you have isn’t as exciting or legit, and people are going to be skeptical.

If you are getting a lot of skepticism from your prospects it could be because you are not approaching your presentation as an interview. You are not approaching this as if “you’ve got the cookie,” and you are trying to decide whether or not this is the right person to partner up with and take with you and your journey.

A few more sales presentation tips…

1.  The person who asks the first question is usually in control of the rest of the conversation or presentation.

Right out the gate I’m asking questions.  It sets up authority without being arrogant, and shows genuine interest in the other person at the same time.  Remember the basics… Family, Occupation, Recreation.  Get the conversation going and dig deeper… Don’t just ask them what they do in their spare time.  Ask them when they started it… how they got into it… where do they go to do it… who do they like to do it with… then listen to their answers, and if you can, relate.  You’re looking for common ground to start building familiarity and a relationship with them.

This leads to…

2. The conversation starts BEFORE the presentation.

I generally know quite a bit about a prospect before we ever meet up, because the conversation started during the invitation to meet.

For example, a cold-market prospect I met a few days ago.   I met him out and about, living my life, and started a conversation.  It came up that he’s an MMA trainer who is into jiu jitsu. I’m into martial arts as well, so we had something to talk about (see “common ground” above.)  He had recently moved to the area from California and started working with his brother.

Long story short, I knew some things about him because I was asking questions in the conversation: “Why did you move in from California?” “Why did you start working for your brother?”…

“Well I was in the trades out in California and my brother’s got a successful business going here, so I came to partner up with him because it was time for me to make some money.”

(Ding Ding Ding!)   “Oh Really?”

Now, I know I might have a legitimate prospect here…

  • I’ve got a guy who is into Jujitsu and because of that, I anticipated, he’s into health and wellness and performance and nutrition, which happens to be my wheelhouse for products that we deal with in my company.
  • I’ve got a guy who is actively looking to make a change in his life, in his career, and in his money-making path which is what prompted him to move here.

So there’s two things right there that potentially make him a ‘qualified’ prospect.  Those things were the reason to offer him an opportunity.

3.  Have a reason directly related to the individual that you’re offering the opportunity.

This fellow had two things that came up in conversation that were legitimate, logical reasons that I might be interested (and he might be interested) in partnering up on my project.  So, it was a simple, logical step in the conversation to ask things like:

“Hey you know what, since your mentioning this it’s kind of interesting, I own a marketing company in the health and wellness field and were expanding right now. I can’t promise you anything but if you are keeping your options open for creating other sources of income, outside of and it wouldn’t interfere with what you are doing, would you be open?”

That’s my standard prospecting.  You’ve heard that a hundred million times, but it makes a lot more sense if you know something about the person ahead of time or if they have told you something in the conversation that makes sense of why you’d be prospecting them to continue that conversation.

4.  Getting comfortable enough with your business.

I’d encourage you to get comfortable enough with your business and your business model to the point you don’t need a “flip chart” to go through every single detail, because guess what….

You’re prospect doesn’t care. Your prospect doesn’t care about every little detail in the beginning. All they care about is the basics of what it is, what they have to do, and what’s in it for them.

Be able to explain, as a business professional, the basics of what you’re business is, what a person needs to do (as an employee or partner), and what’s in it for them. If you can look that person in the eye and, briefly in 5 minutes, explain those basic points and some backup materials, you’ll find way more success.

5.  Use materials to show credibility, not competency.

I use materials to show business credibility more than to explain the business opportunity. Not everyone is going to agree with that strategy, some people will say that it’s not very duplicable.

In the beginning there is nothing wrong with using materials to show a presentation, and at some point if they want to get to the details of the compensation plan.  Then, you definitely want to use materials. However, if you are sitting down for coffee, I find I had way more success once I learned how to comfortably explain the three basics (what is it, what’s it it for them, and what they need to do) in five minutes eyeball to eyeball, with at most a piece of sketch paper to draw some concepts.  Sometimes, I think even the sketch overdoes it.

Maintain your professionalism. You’re in charge. Have those materials to back you up so they know you are legit and you are backed by some real companies and some real products, but remember, focus on the conversation.

If you bring materials out too much it immediately turns into a pitch and in their mind they are being “pitched” as opposed to having a conversation.

The above post is loosely transcribed from this video:

Sales Presentation Tips: It's A Conversation

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About the Author Jason

Jason is a 3rd generation network marketer and founder of Network Marketing Accelerator. He and his family are collaboratively responsible for generating a multiple 7-figure income in their network marketing businesses. A coach and mentor to hundreds of successful business owners across multiple verticals, Jason is also a co-founder of OuterBox Solutions, a premier eCommerce Web Design firm.