Friday, October 16, 2009

The Selling Stool: 3 Key Elements to Sales Presentations

Product knowledge and selling skills are only two legs of the stool when it comes to successful sales presentations.

The third key is the ability to communicate your ideas effectively, and at the same time read the messages that your audience (buyer) is sending in response.

In other words, you need to master the art of walking and chewing gum at the same time!

The most effective salespeople pay attention to the signals that are being sent – theirs and others.

These winning sales professionals don’t go onto autopilot with their prepared pitch.

So, what are some things to watch for?

Positive cues from the person or people to whom you are presenting:

Direct eye contact
Open body language
Forward lean
Upward turn on the corners of their mouth

Here are some negative signals to watch carefully for:

Tension in the eyebrows
Closed off posture
Limited eye contact
Pursed lips

You can’t assume that people are hostile to your ideas just because they have their arms crossed. After all, they may just be cold.

However, if their arms are crossed, look for other signals as well that might indicate hostility, disagreement or closed thinking.

Typically, in a selling situation, the “buyer” says so much without even saying a word.

The question is, are you so busy talking, that you aren’t listening to what is -- and isn’t -- being said?

It may seem trite, but there is a reason we have two ears!

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