How to craft a persuasive sales presentation

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English: 9 of hearts.
English: 9 of hearts. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The most persuasive sales argument is the one that is already in the mind or heart of your prospective customer.

Remember that when you’re selling your new product or service that you’ve developed from idea to reality, you may find yourself in selling situations in a car park, showroom floor, boardroom or even restaurant. In these dynamic environments selling is oral and needs to be clear, fast and real. There is no time for flipping through flashcards or checking your cellphone. It’s all got to be in your head.

Sales trainers will show you how to find persuasion sales argument by anticipating 20 objections, using syllogisms and enthymemes and the four-stroke method but although these are interesting as someone new to selling its best to follow the simple methods.

A sales argument is a strange term to use when selling to customers. We all know that the worst mistake to make is to “argue” with prospective customers. What is meant by this term is making a convincing case or reasons why a prospect would want to buy.

Let’s get back to basic human emotions and psychology. The reasons we have for buying anything are personal. We believe we need, want or desire something and we come up with strong internal reasons for handing over our hard-earned money in exchange for a product or service. After we have bought, we justify our purchase with further reasons why we have bought – especially external reasons we can use to tell our spouse, family, friends and perhaps colleagues.

This is not to say that as a seller of your new product or service you shouldn’t come up with FABs (features and benefits) that you could mention to your prospect. You may have reasoned that the prospective customer could add to her personal arguments to buy.

You may have, for example, 18 “sales arguments” for flame retardant Trevira CS fabrics – an actual example I saw recently. Pity that all 18 were features with no accompanying benefits but it’s a useful list to make my point. Now, say you try to “sell” any of the 18 “sales arguments” and not one appeals to the prospective customer. What do you do?

Remember to ask questions that uncover the motive that the prospective customer already has for being interested in your product. By asking the prospect what she’s looking for or wants, you will peel away the layers of the onion and find the main buying motive. You won’t find the deep sneaky reasons people sometimes have for buying but that’s okay. You’re only looking for the main ones. Then you can show your customer how your product will meet her need.

The secret to “sales arguments” is so simple that it’s often elusive. I learnt it from an old-school encyclopaedia and insurance salesperson Eugene Wetton. He had, in turn, learned it from sales master J Douglas Edwards. He would explain it by taking a pack of playing cards (54 reasons) and ask alternative choice questions until he found the prospect’s favourite playing card. It works every time.

Every customer has their own deck of cards. You never know which card is the favourite (her reason for wanting to buy) unless you ask questions.


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