||Mar 30, 2013 by Business Editorial Board
||Sales Presentation Techniques is an e-book by MTD Training (Sean McPheat)and available at no cost on bookboon.com. The book is downloaded as a PDF file; you are required to sign up for a newsletter in order to receive the free e-book. Subsequently, you will receive e-mails from bookboon.com from time to time about other e-books that are available (you e-mail information is not shared with 3rd parties, as stated on the site). In order to keep the cost at $0, the e-book is filled with ads.
The book is 53 pages long, and outlines the basics of sales presentations. It consists of 7 chapters, with chapter 8 covering additional resources available. Chapter 1 (Introduction) covers the basic definition of a sales presentation, including written, telephone, and face-to-face. Chapter 2 (Understanding the Sales Process) presents the general sales process, along with a description of how sales presentations have changed over the years. Chapter 3 (Skills that Effective Sales Presentations Require) includes an overview of research and interviewing skills, listening skills (including a discussion of how to be a good listener), communication skills, solutions to problems (including using 5 why questions to get at problems), organizational skills, interpersonal skills, self-,motivation skills, and perseverance. Chapter 4 (Basic Sales Presentation Techniques) provides information on the appropriate language, getting past the gatekeeper, and sales presentation structure. Chapter 5 (Written Sales Presentations) provides greater detail about written presentations, including tips for structure, headlines, demonstrating credibility and relevance, writing how and why statements, writing action and follow-up statements, and concluding the presentation. Chapter 6 (Telephone Sales Presentation Techniques) provides greater detail about phone presentations, including appropriate preparation, questioning, maintaining objectivity, listening and interpreting, informing and educating, involving and coordinating, and staying in charge of the call. Finally, Chapter 7 (Face-to-Face Presentations) deals strictly with face-to-face calls; it recommends creating a sales presentation checklist, editing, being aware of your own behavior, reviews the presentation process, and identifies presentation killers.
I have reviewed two chapters: Chapter 2 (Understanding the Sales Process) and Chapter 4 (Basic Sales Presentation Techniques).
Chapter 2, Understanding the Sales Process, presents the general sales process and describes the sales funnel. The book notes how the number of prospects decrease as you move through the funnel, due to a mismatch between product and customer needs, an inability to find the decision maker, etc. It also discusses how sales presentations hav changed with the advent of technology. A table offers a comparison between "traditional sales" e.g., "seller knows product," and "modern sales," e.g., "seller knows the prospect and his needs." Essentially, "traditional selling" has a focus on acquiring customers, whereas "modern selling" has a focus on delivering value to customers. The author also notes that the sales person may not be the only person in the sales organization dealing with the prospect. He notes the need for different types of sales presentations depending on where the prospect is in the buying process.
In Chapter 4, Basic Sales Presentation Techniques, the author discusses the 5-second rule: you have 5 seconds to get someone's attention. He encourages the presenter to be scripted, and choose words carefully. Use vocabulary the buyer is used to hearing and be careful with jargon. He suggests using the Internet to gather information about prospects (their own sites and independent sources), their competitors, and your competition as a way to identify pain points. Ideas for getting sales materials past the gatekeeper are offered (e.g., demonstrate results of interest to the decision maker) and follow the AIDA model (awareness, interest, desire, action) when putting together the presentation. Finally, the author suggests enhancing Power Point slides with other media, and offers ideas such as interactive whiteboards, video conferencing, and shared workspaces as alternative means for giving presentations.
Generally, the book is a pretty easy read and provides a very basic understanding of sales presentations.
||The primary learning goal is for the reader to develop a basic understanding of written, telephone, and face-to-face sales presentations and how they can be delivered effectively.
|Target Student Population:
||This book would best be used with undergraduates or MBAs with limited work experience. It seemed to be written for someone who has no sales experience. The topic itself lends itself to an upper-level Personal Selling or Sales Management course.
|Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
||A basic understanding of the personal selling process would be helpful, but not required.
|Type of Material:
||This book could be used as additional reading material in an entry-level sales class.
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