Prepare a Sales Presentation In this assignment you will prepare some material that you will use in a sales presentation. Do not contact any pros
Assignment 4: Prepare a Sales Presentation (10%) Instructions and Submission
In this assignment you will prepare some material that you will use in a sales presentation. Do not contact any prospects from your list at the moment, that is for your next assignment after you have studied the closing and customer service steps in the sales presentation process—presented in Module 5.
A. Review Feedback from Earlier Assignments
Before beginning this activity, you should review the feedback from your Open Learning Faculty Member on your Integrated Assignment Plan (Assignment 1.2), and on Assignments 2 and 3 to confirm that you have a clear understanding of the nature and quality of work that your Open Learning Faculty Member expects of you.
B. Complete the Assignment
In a report of approximately 1,500 words, plus a ten-slide PowerPoint presentation, document the following:
- Approach Strategies (400 words) (20 marks)
- Create a table or bulleted list for each of the seven different approaches discussed on pages 241 to 246 of your textbook, and apply these approaches to your product/service choice. Include a description of when each approach would be used. It can be a situation or the communication style of your prospect. Then write a brief script (2–3 lines) of what you would say in that situation. (14 marks)
- Prepare three different scripts for the telephone method and three other scripts for email (six in total). For each script, you need to identify which approach you have used. It must be drawn from one of the 7 approaches from your textbook. (6 marks)
- Questions (300 words) (10 marks)
- Prepare at least ten questions that will help you to understand the prospect’s needs and to advance the sale.
- For each question, identify which of the four types of questions they are (survey, probing, confirmation, or need-satisfaction). Be sure to review these questions types from your textbook when matching your questions to the question type. You should use all four types of questions when writing your ten questions.
- Presentation (minimum 10-page PowerPoint presentation, to be submitted in a MS PowerPoint file) (20 marks)
- Prepare a PowerPoint presentation that includes the key points you want to make in your sales presentation. Remember that this information will be interspersed with your questions, so carefully consider the order of your presentation.
- Research appropriate resources, and find a presentation style or format with will fit well with your product choice and the selected target audience. There is no “one-size fits all” format. Remember, the slides are used to guide your presentation, not to be read by your audience.
- Include personal notes that you will use when presenting to your prospects. (Click to add notes at the bottom of each slide, or use the Notes Page option under the View tab in PowerPoint).
- Sales Script Outline (800 words) (20 marks)
- Use the personal notes that you have written to draft a point-form outline of a script for your sales presentation.
- Use a table to show the slide number, the purpose of each slide, and what you will say at each slide.
- Anticipate the flow of your presentation (i.e., how your prospect would respond), and write the script in a conversational format. This table should include your questions, some anticipated responses; and when/how you will introduce different questions, comments, and the PowerPoint slides..
The Business Contact
Converting the prospect’s attention from the social contact to the business proposal is an
important part of the approach. When you convert and hold your prospect’s attention,
you have fulfilled an important step in the selling process. Furthermore, without this step,
the door has been closed on completing the remaining steps of the sale.
Some salespeople use a carefully planned opening statement or a question to attract
the customer’s attention to the sales presentation. A statement or question that focuses
on the prospect’s dominant buying motive is, of course, more likely to achieve the desired
results. Buyers must like what they see and hear, and must be made to feel that it will be
worthwhile to hear more.
CONVERTING THE BUYER’S ATTENTION
AND AROUSING INTEREST
T hroughout the years, salespeople have identified and used a number of effective
ways to capture the prospect’s attention and arouse interest in the presentation. Seven of
the most common will be explained in the following material:
■ Agenda approach
■ Product demonstration approach
■ Referral approach
■ Customer benefit approach
■ Question approach
■ Survey approach
■ Premium approach
We also discuss combining two or more of these approaches.
Agenda Approach One of the most effective ways to move from the social contact to
the business contact is to thank the customer for taking time to meet with you and then
review your goals for the meeting. You might say, “Thank you for meeting with me this
morning. I would like to accomplish three things during the time you have given me.”
This statement shows that you value the person’s time and have preplanned a specific
agenda. Always be open to changing the agenda based on suggestions from the customer.
26 This approach is welcomed by buyers in multi-call situations.
Product Demonstration Approach This straightforward method of getting the prospect’s
attention can be achieved by showing the actual product, a sample, a mock-up, a
video, or a well-prepared brochure either in print form or on a computer screen. It is a
popular approach used by sales representatives who sell convention services, technical
products, pharmaceuticals, photographic equipment, automobiles, construction equipment,
office furniture, and many other products. In many multi-call situations, salespeople
leave samples for the customer to examine and try at a later date. Trish Ormsby,
a sales representative who sells security systems, uses her portable computer to create a
visual image of systems that meet the customer’s security needs. 27
Referral Approach Research indicates that another person will be far more impressed
with your good points if these points are presented by a third party rather than by you.
The referral approach is quite effective because a third party—a satisfied customer—
believes the prospect will benefit from your product. This type of opening statement has
universal appeal among salespeople from nearly every field. When you use the referral
approach, your opening statement should include a direct reference to the third party.
Here is an example: “Mrs. Follett, my name is Kurt Wheeler, and I represent the Cross
Printing Company. We specialize in printing all types of business forms. Mr. Ameno—
buyer for Raybale Products, Incorporated—is a regular customer of ours, and he suggested
I mention his name to you.”
Customer Benefit Approach One of the most effective ways to gain a prospect’s
attention is to immediately point out benefits of purchasing your solution or value proposition.
As noted in Chapter 7 , the benefit could focus on either the product, company, or
salesperson. Begin with the most important issue (or problem) facing the client. When
using this approach, the most important buyer benefit is included in the initial statement.
For example, the salesperson selling a portable Sony projector might open with
The Sony VPL-CS4 lightweight projector strikes a balance among cost, size, brightness,
and convenience. It’s a good choice for a quick business trip or for a work-at-home
Selling in Action
Effective Design and Use of the Business Card
The business card continues to be a powerful tool for
salespeople. It provides a personal touch in our high-tech
world. The business card is a convenient way to communicate
important information to customers and others
involved in the sales process. When you develop your business
card, keep these tips in mind.
■ Use eye-catching items such as your company logo,
raised letters, and textured paper. The card should
be tasteful and pleasing to the eye. Do use a white
■ The card should feature all current contact information
such as your email address, telephone numbers,
and mailing address. List a home phone number only
if there’s a second line for business calls.
■ Consider using both sides of the card. You might
print your customer service philosophy on the back
of the card or list the products you sell.
Give your cards generously to anyone who might need
to contact you later. Always offer your business card when
networking. The card is useful when the contact tells others
about your products or services. How you respond to
someone else’s business card is important also. According
to communications trainer Mark Jeffries, mentioned earlier,
when someone hands you their business card, find
something about it you can comment on before putting it
away. You can comment on things such as the design, the
company, or the individual’s title. He contends that people
will have a favorable memory of you, if done successfully.
A company benefit example taken from the financial services field:
When you meet with a Scotia McLeod investment specialist, you can obtain advice on a
family of 48 professionally managed no-load mutual funds.
The customer benefit approach is also used with what is sometimes referred to as the
elevator speech. The elevator speech focuses on the benefit of working with the salesperson
and is used to open the door and establish credibility to meet a need. It is about offering
to take excellent care of the prospect. The elevator speech should be short, prepared well
in advance, and extensively rehearsed before it is used. It is used most appropriately in the
initial call on a prospect where the prequalifying research indicates that the buyer is more
interested in the benefits of working with a highly qualified salesperson than finding a
new product solution or supplier. Here is an employment services example of a salesperson
benefit statement using the elevator speech approach:
Hello, I’m Kevin Zhang. I partner with companies like yours that need to find talented
people to help their business grow and become more profitable.
As noted, the key to achieving success with the customer benefit approach is preparation.
Prospects are annoyed when a salesperson cannot quickly communicate the benefits
of meeting with them. Bruce Klassen, sales manager for Do All Industrial Supply, says,
“Our salespeople begin the sales process by researching the prospect and the company.
We need to be sure that our product line is going to benefit that prospect before we make
even an initial sales approach.” 28
Question Approach The question approach has two positive features. First, a question
almost always triggers prospect involvement. Very few people will avoid answering a
direct question. Second, a question gets the prospect thinking about a problem that the
salesperson is prepare to solve.
244 P a r t V D e v e l o p i n g a P re s e n t a t i o n S t r a t e g y
Molly Hoover, a sales training consultant, conducts training classes for sales managers
and car dealers who want to better understand the subtleties of selling to the female car
buyer. She suggests an approach that includes a few basic questions such as:
Is the vehicle for business or pleasure?
Will you be buying within the next week or so? 29
These opening need-related questions will be discussed in detail in the next chapter
and are generally not difficult to answer, yet they get the customer mentally involved.
Some of the best opening questions are carefully phrased to capture attention. The
authors of The Sales Question Book offer some good examples:
Are you aware that we just added three new services to our payroll and accounting package?
Could I tell you about them?
We are now offering all our customers a special service that used to be reserved for
our largest accounts. Would you be interested in hearing about it? 30
Once you ask the question, listen carefully to the response. If the answer is yes, proceed
with an enthusiastic presentation of your product. If the answer is no, then you may
have to gracefully try another approach or thank the prospect for their time and depart.
The use of questions will be discussed in detail in the next chapter and will provide information
on the specific types of questions to use to approach your customer.
Survey Approach Astrid Goodman is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Fellow
of the Canadian Securities Institute (FCSI), this latter designation being the highest
honour in Canadian financial services. She is also a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU).
Astrid Goodman wears three hats and provides advice in three areas: financial management,
investment management, and risk management. When she meets with potential
clients, she follows closely the process prescribed by the Financial Planning Standards
Council of Canada. Early in the process, she must gather client data to understand the
client’s goals and expectations. She must also ask a series of questions, perform a number
of calculations, and compile reports to determine the client’s financial status: where he
or she stands currently, including any problems or opportunities that might exist. 31 Data
collection through the survey approach is an important part of the problem-solving philosophy
of selling. It is often also used in selling office machines, business security systems,
and other products where need cannot be established without careful study.
The survey approach offers many advantages. It is generally a nonthreatening way
to open a sales call. You are simply asking permission to acquire information that can be
used to determine the buyer’s need for your product or service. Because the survey is tailormade
for a specific business, the buyer is given individual treatment. Finally, the survey
approach helps avoid a premature discussion of price. Price cannot be discussed until the
survey is completed and the client’s needs are completely understood. We will discuss the
survey and needs discovery in detail in Chapter 11 .
Premium Approach The premium approach involves giving the customer a free sample
or an inexpensive item. A financial services representative might give the customer a booklet
that can be used to record expenses. Product samples are frequently used by persons who
sell cosmetics. Creative use of premiums is an effective way to get the customer’s attention.
The agenda, product demonstration, referral, customer benefit, question, survey,
and premium approaches offer the salesperson a variety of ways to set the stage for the presentation strategy. With experience, salespeople learn to select the most effective approach for each selling situation. Table 10.1 provides examples of how these approaches can be applied in real-world situations.
Combination Approaches A hallmark of consultative selling is flexibility. Therefore,
a combination of approaches sometimes provides the best avenue to need identification.
Table 10.1 Business Contact Worksheet
This worksheet illustrates how to prepare effective real-world approaches that capture the customer’s attention.
Method of Approach What will you say?
1. Agenda 1. (Office supply) “Thank you for meeting with me, Ms. Zhou. During the next 45 minutes,
I plan to accomplish three things.”
2. Product demonstration 2a. (Retail clothing) “We have just received a shipment of new fall sweaters from Braemar
2b. (Business forms manufacturer) “Our plant has just purchased a $300 000 Harris
Graphics composer, Mr. Reichart. I would like to show you a copy of your sales invoice
with your logo printed on it.”
3. Referral 3. (Food wholesaler) “Paula Doeman, procurement manager for St. Joseph’s Hospital, suggested
that I provide you with information about our computerized ‘Order It’ system.”
4. Customer benefit 4. (Real estate) “Mr. and Mrs. Stuart, my company lists and sells more homes than any
other company in the area where your home is located. Our past performance would
lead me to believe we can sell your home within two weeks.”
5. Question 5. (Hotel convention services) “Mrs. McClaughin, will your 2011 Annual Franchisee
Meeting be held in April?”
6. Survey 6a. (Custom-designed computer software) “Mr. Pham, I would like the opportunity to learn
about your accounts receivable and accounts payable procedures. We may be able to
develop a customized program that will significantly improve your cash flow.”
6b. (Retail menswear) “May I ask you a few questions about your wardrobe? The information
will help me better understand your clothing needs.”
7. Premium 7. (Financial services) “I would like to give you a publication entitled Guaranteed Growth
Sales personnel who have adopted the consultative style will, of course, use the question
and survey approaches most frequently. Some selling situations, however, require that
one of the other approaches be used, either alone or in combination with the question
and survey approaches (see Fig. 10.4 ). An example of how a salesperson might combine
referral and question approaches follows:
Salesperson: Carl Hamilton at Simmons Modern Furniture suggested that I visit with
you about our new line of compact furniture designed for today’s smaller
homes. He believes this line might complement the furniture you currently
Customer: Yes, Carl called me yesterday and mentioned your name and company.
Salesperson: Before showing you our product lines, I would like to ask you some questions
about your current product mix. First, what do you currently carry in
the area of bedroom furniture?
Suggesting the use of a combination approach, noted sales authority Linda Richardson
of Richardson Learning Systems advises to “go in armed to the gills with a full
portfolio of knowledge, insights, data, and ideas. Use that portfolio to engage customers
by sharing insights and asking business challenge questions that show that you know what
you are talking about and that lead into your value. Intelligent questions provide as much
insight as answers. They give you insights into the customer’s thinking and jumpstart the
collaborative process. They also help you validate that your insight is relevant.” 32
Coping with Sales Call Reluctance
The transition from the preapproach to the approach is sometimes blocked by sales call
reluctance. Fear of making the initial contact with the prospect is one of the biggest
obstacles to sales success. For new salespeople, the problem can be career-threatening.
Sales call reluctance includes thoughts, feelings, and behavioural patterns that conspire
to limit what a salesperson is able to accomplish. It is an internal, often emotional, barrier
to sales success. Sales call reluctance can be caused by several different thought patterns: 33
■ Fear of taking risks
■ Fear of group presentations
■ Lack of self-confidence
■ Fear of rejection
Regardless of the reasons for sales call reluctance, you can learn to deal with it. Here
are some suggestions:
■ Be optimistic about the outcome of the initial contact. It is better to anticipate success
than to anticipate failure. Martin Seligman, professor of psychology at the University
of Pennsylvania and author of the bestselling book Learned Optimism, says that
success in selling requires a healthy dose of optimism. 34 It is important to frequently
recommit yourself to the double-win, value-adding approach to working with customers
discussed earlier. The anticipation of failure is a major barrier to making the
■ Practise your approach before making the initial contact. A well-rehearsed effort to make
the initial contact increases your self-confidence and reduces the possibility that you
may handle the situation badly.
■ Recognize that it is normal to feel anxious about the initial contact. Even the most experienced
salespeople experience some degree of sales call reluctance, and this reluctance
can surface anywhere in the sales process.
■ Develop a deeper commitment to your goals. Abraham Zaleznik, professor emeritus at
Harvard Business School, says, “If your commitment is only in your mind, then you’ll
lose it when you encounter a big obstacle. If your commitment is in your heart and
your mind, you’ll create the power to break through the toughest obstacles.”
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