Tell me if this has ever happened to you… Your client asks you about a specific product. Then once you do your product presentation and get to the negotiation stage, there are suddenly all these problems the customer never voiced. So, you cannot close — after they seemed ready to roll!
This is one of the most frustrating problems a salesperson can face. However, the reality is that YOU made a mistake long before you got to the negotiation table…
In my experience, over 50% of prospects are shopping for a product that doesn’t fulfill their wants and needs. Therefore, it is a product they will never buy.
IN SHORT, YOU WERE SELLING THE WRONG PRODUCT.
In this article, I am going to show you the process to ensure you are on the right product and how to present it to increase your sales.
This is the theory and practice of building value in your sales pitch presentation…
The Power of a Product Presentation
By now, hopefully you’re realizing how impactful your product presentation is to your ability to close.
Nonetheless, the prior example is just one aspect of how this crucial step affects your closing ratio. There are two additional advantages that make this step on the road to the sale so valuable…
Product Presentations Build Value
First, I want you to remember this invariable principle of sales:
YOU CANNOT CLOSE UNLESS YOUR PRODUCT EXCEEDS THE VALUE OF ITS COST FOR THE CUSTOMER.
As an example, if your product costs $500, it has to be worth $1,000 to the buyer to purchase it. The product demonstration is your opportunity to build value in their mind.
Showing prospects everything your product does paints a picture of how it can solve their problems. It creates mental ownership. They can see it belonging to them already.
Look, people buy only for two reasons — they love the product or it solves a problem. Your product demo is how you do both.
Now, let’s discuss the next advantage of a powerful product walkthrough…
A great product demo gives you a strong footing when it’s time to establish the terms of the deal. This especially concerns budget parameters.
Let’s say you’re at the negotiating table…
The prospect informs you that he needs the deal to be several hundred dollars less expensive…
An effective counter would be proposing a model without X feature. The client will reply no or yes, and you can move forward accordingly and still close.
This method is so effective because it justifies your price and doesn’t make the buyer wrong. We will go over that process later on in this article.
With this in mind, we will get into the meat and potatoes of this subject — the steps of a master product presentation.
6 Steps to Mastering the Product Presentation
Ensuring you have a smooth demonstration with every buyer takes six steps, some of which are prep work before you ever meet with a client.
The more educated you are on all your offers and the preliminary measures you take allow you to quickly pivot according to each person’s individual needs.
That being said, here are the keys to creating a perfect presentation every time…
1. Prepare a Sales Deck
People believe what they see, not what they hear.
For that reason, you need a killer sales deck. By definition, a sales deck is a visual aid used in your presentation to show the features, advantages, and benefits of your offers.
Usually, it is a Powerpoint or Google Slides presentation. However, it can be adapted into whatever medium works best for you. Back in my day, for example, I had a binder full of printed information.
BUT WHAT DATA SHOULD YOU COLLECT AS YOU ARE PUTTING TOGETHER THIS DEMONSTRATION TOOL?
My suggestions are the following:
- All internal information on your products and services
- All printed and online data on your company and offers
- A complete view of your competitor’s prices and promotions
Of course, you will not present ALL this information to every customer.
HOWEVER, YOU NEED TO HAVE AND KNOW ALL THE DATA.
That knowledge will empower you to tailor your sales pitch presentation to the buyer’s needs.
If you do your homework, the next step will be a breeze…
2. Secure Alternatives
As a result of your research, you should be able to quickly rattle off all the models and packages you offer — from the cheapest to the most expensive.
Knowing this off hand is critical to getting the prospect on the right product as quickly as possible…
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS OFFER YOUR BUYER ALTERNATIVES IN EVERY SALES CYCLE.
Not only does it establish you as an authority, but it also demonstrates that you want the best for your client. Additionally, humans as a whole can’t make decisions without choices.
Even if the prospect declines the alternative, they can mentally check off looking at enough options and “not making a rash decision.”
Equally important to your inventory, upgrades, and more basic products is pinning value to each of those options…
3. Outline the Features & Benefits
Believe it or not, features can be a disadvantage to your ability to close.
Unless you attach an advantage and benefit to those features, the buyer translates those features to higher costs without added value to your product.
For sales purposes, I’ll give you the definitions, differences, and examples between features, advantages, and benefits…
A feature is an attribute your product has, like a higher-quality camera on a cellphone…
Next, an advantage is how that feature makes the product superior. To continue with the previous example, a stronger camera’s advantage is being able to take photos in various lighting with additional settings.
In contrast, the benefit is how your product solves your customer’s pain points. Accordingly, a better cell cam would mean someone could take great photos anywhere, no matter the environment.
With all these definitions cleared up, I want you to do an exercise…
Get a piece of paper and make three columns:
Then, make a list of all your product’s features and attach an advantage and benefit to each.
So, at this point, you’ve done a lot of preparatory work…
But this research is going to be your best friend once you get in front of clients…
Speaking of which, let’s talk about how to discover what the buyer REALLY wants so you know which features to present.
4. Identify the WHY
By now, it is obvious that your product has many features. The good news is that you don’t have to demo ALL of the features to your prospect…
In fact, you only have to present the few features that matter to the customer. But determining their “why” is the only way to do so effectively.
For this reason, you need to be crystal clear on what their dominant buying motive is before the sales presentation and the close.
Ultimately, people only buy for four reasons. To make these easier to remember, I came up with the acronym APES:
- Appearance — the product looks good or makes the buyer look better
- Performance — helps complete things faster or product runs better
- Economics — saves them money, e.g. purchasing a less expensive insurance policy
- Security — makes them feel safer, e.g. upgrading to a car with backup cameras
Using APES as your guide, ask potential customers fact-finding questions to deduce which features will interest them most…
What is the number one thing you’re trying to accomplish with your new purchase?
How are you looking to improve your situation over your current one?
Which feature is most important to you in a new X?
Really listen to their answers. Those responses are vital clues to making the deal go right.
After the buyer’s “why” is clearly defined, it’s time to present in a controlled demonstration…
5. Control the Sales Pitch Presentation
Equally important to showcasing features attractive to the customer is doing so in a controlled manner. Therefore, don’t let others exhibit your product or let the customer “test it out” first…
ALWAYS HANDLE THE ITEM BEFORE HANDING IT OVER TO THE CLIENT.
Prior to beginning the presentation, you may get concerns surrounding the price…
Simply reassure the customer you will figure all that out. Then, ask them to give you ten minutes to demonstrate the features.
Afterward, follow this outline for a great sales demo…
The Blueprint to Maintain Control
Begin by asking your prospect:
- What is most important to you?
- Where do you spend the most time?
The answers will determine where you will start and end your product presentation. Always know both before you start.
For instance, a realtor selling to someone buying a house whose “why” is hosting large parties would start demonstrating from the living or dining room.
Moving on, you have to get permission from the buyer to present. This agreement is critical to achieving any control in the first place. Also, inform them where you are beginning and ending this demo, and invite them to ask questions at any point.
Next, remove the product from the rest of the inventory if at all possible. Doing so allows the customer to focus on a specific model away from all the others, so they are not overwhelmed.
Additionally, do the product demonstration somewhere with minimal distractions. The buyer’s real-time attention needs to be on you and the new product.
From here on, you are going to break down your sales pitch presentation into four to six parts.
Think of walking around your product like a clock…
In the case of the house we mentioned earlier, we would want to begin and end in the dining room, which is in the six o’clock position.
You’d move through…
Hitting vital points that the customer values…
And present the last “new” area three hours earlier, in the 3 o’clock spot.
That is the entire practical aspect of showing a product and maintaining control.
Nonetheless, there is something that most salespeople fail to feature in their presentations…
6. Sell Yourself
More likely than not, you fail to present the features, advantages, and benefits of buying from YOU and your company!
Many times, prospective customers can buy your product from someone else for a lower price. However, they don’t get the unique customer experience and service your company provides.
YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE.
I would advise you to do the same exercise from earlier for features, advantages, and benefits for you and your company. Then, weave it into your product presentation.
Overall, not showcasing your biggest edge over your competitors is a huge mistake.
So, I’ll go over other errors to steer clear of while presenting…
Mistakes to Avoid in Your Product Presentation
Naturally, the worst mistake you can make is to not do a presentation at all. Nevertheless, there are other oversights that you might be making without even realizing it…
Therefore, I want to ensure you’re aware of these mistakes so you’re not making them in front of customers…
Asking the Buyer IF They Want to Use the Product
Initially, this mistake creates two problems for the salesperson…
First, giving the prospect a choice immediately turns control of the presentation over to them.
Second, they don’t form a connection and mental ownership of the product if they decline.
In this case, put the product in the client’s hand after you’ve shown them its use. Examples of this could be escorting the customer to the driver’s seat of a car or placing the contract in their hands if the product is intangible.
Just do so confidently and with a smile on your face. It makes a difference, and you maintain control.
YOU Don’t Believe They Will Buy Today
I hate to admit it, but I have been guilty of this mistake myself…
Whether the buyer told you about their rotten credit or you made assumptions, you got sold on the idea that the person in front of you isn’t making a move today. As a result, you half-ass the product presentation.
The solution for this problem goes back to mindset.
Also, it shouldn’t matter if their credit is bad or if they can afford it until tax time…
As a salesperson, it is 100% your responsibility to figure out the money and terms so the customer can benefit from your product.
COMMIT TO THE DEMONSTRATION FIRST AND FIGURE OUT THE REST LATER.
You owe it to your buyer as much as to your closing ratio.
Thinking the Demo Doesn’t Make a Difference
Similar to the previous mistake, this goes back to your attitude. How do you expect your product presentation to influence the customer if YOU don’t believe it will first?
People can pick up if you truly believe what you are telling them. Entertainers play on this sensitivity all the time to create an effect.
If you find yourself struggling with this, I suggest you go back and get re-sold on your product and company.
This also will resolve the next problem a sales team can run into, especially if they’ve been in the game a while…
Taking the Product for Granted
As a professional salesperson, you are around your product every single day. As such, you start to take your product for granted after a while…
You start to forget all the great things about your product because YOU know them. However, the customer doesn’t.
Taking your product for granted can cause you to not demonstrate features, advantages, and benefits that will encourage the buyer to close. Occasionally, look over your list of all these again to keep them at the forefront of your mind.
Nonetheless, I want to caution you on something else as you present these assets to the customer…
Using Industry Terminology with the Customer
Every industry has its own language and terms that they use. This is called nomenclature.
While industry terms may be easy for you to understand and communicate with your peers, I discourage using them during the entirety of the sales process.
Remember that your prospect is not around this every day. Also, when someone doesn’t understand something, they tend to avoid it. Therefore, keep your language as commonplace as possible.
Another way to avoid this mistake is by encouraging your clients to ask questions.
On the other hand, this next mistake falls entirely on your shoulders…
Believing ONLY Price Is Important
People buy expensive things all the time. Designer brands and luxury cars are proof. Therefore, zoning in on cost as the single reason customers purchase is false.
Earlier in this article, we discussed the categories of why people buy — APES. Appearance. Performance. Economy. Security.
Really take the time to figure out which of those is important to your buyer and present accordingly. That is what will make the sale, not lowering the price.
But also make sure you’re not making this next mistake…
Not Attaching Advantages and Benefits to Features
Features alone won’t sell your clients on the product. Similar to how nomenclature doesn’t mean anything to them, neither do features without advantages and benefits.
Think about it this way…
Some tablets have the feature of an attachable keyboard. The advantage is the ability to turn that tablet into a laptop. Because of this, the benefit is getting work done on the go, with less equipment.
If you fail to demonstrate all three, people cannot form a picture of how that feature solves their problem. It makes the product presentation almost useless.
Additionally, you don’t want to hand over control either…
Letting the Client Control the Product Demonstration
We’ve already touched on maintaining control and using the product before the prospect. Yet we need to address the error of letting them run the demonstration.
This doesn’t mean not letting the client use or inspect the product. You should absolutely allow them to do that.
Instead, I am talking about letting the customer dictate:
- How long it will take to demonstrate the product
- What order to present
- Which features to NOT include in the demo.
You need to be the one walking the customer through the sales cycle — not the other way around. Reassure them along the way if you have to, but maintain management of the process.
You’re Unclear on The Buyer’s “WHY”
To repeat, it is critical that you discover the client’s dominant buying motive. Otherwise, you won’t be able to present your product in a way that builds value…
Or worse, you’ll demonstrate features that lower the value of your product to your customer.
The preliminary fact-finding step can both streamline and make your product demonstration more powerful. For this reason, be 100% confident you have the right “why” before you move forward.
Furthermore, you need to encourage mental ownership along the way…
Omitting Assumptive Language from the Demo
THOUGHT PRECEDES ALL ACTION.
You envision the cool drink in your hand before you get it from the fridge…
You imagine the warmth of the hot tub water before you put on your swimsuit…
And you picture the view in paradise before you ever book your flight…
It’s no different when it comes to sales.
People need to get the idea of using the product to solve their problem before they put any money on the table.
So even if it seems cheesy to you, you must use assumptive language. Phrases like, “your new X,” and questions like, “Where will you use your new X most?” encourage this mental ownership.
Now, let’s wrap up with the last misstep you need to bypass…
Showcasing Your Product’s WORTH, Not Its Value
During the sales process, some of you are like a dog chasing cars. You are justifying the price of the product and not demonstrating its value beyond the cost…
This principle is especially true for those of you who sell higher-ticket items. You have to answer the question, “Why is this worth paying more for?” AND tie that to their dominant buying motive.
Additionally, you have to put on a hell of a product presentation to really let the client know this product from your company is for them.
So to sidestep this final mistake, practice your interactive product demo until you know it like the back of your hand. Then, add your own style to it and ways to stack on the value. Doing so keeps your customer engaged and more likely to close.
Nonetheless, there are STILL important nuances to the sales pitch presentation to cover…
All of which I have included in my sales training platform, Cardone University, as well as solutions to any other sales obstacles you’re facing.
At the end of the day, the product demonstration is your shot at wowing your customer, validating your value, and closing more deals.
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