When You Walk in Empty Headed, You Walk Out Empty Handed.

When You Walk in Empty Headed, You Walk Out Empty Handed.

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at gitomer.me.

When You Walk in Empty Headed, You Walk Out Empty Handed.

How much of your presentation is “standard”?

Whether you sell a product or service, whether it’s simple or sophisticated, how much (what percentage) of your presentation is the way you usually present it? Void of personalization? Void of customization? Void of interaction? And all about you.

What kind of presentation do you think your prospect wants?
They want to know what the value is to THEM.
They want to know how this fits into THEIR business or life.
They want to know how THEY benefit.
They want to know how THEY win.
They want to know how THEY produce.
They want to know how it affects THEM.
They want to know how THEY profit.
They want to know how easy it will be put to use in THEIR environment.

And NONE of those elements exist in your standard (canned) presentation. Rats.

Why are you giving a “we-we” presentation (all about you and how great you are), when the customer only wants a presentation in terms of them?

HERE’S THE REALTY: When you walk in empty headed, you walk out empty handed.

IDEA: Take all the boring crap you were going to say to the customer, and send it to them in an email saying, “Here’s my presentation for the part you could find on Google or on our website, so that when we’re together I don’t bore you. Rather, I’ll be prepared to give you ideas that lead to (state how they win). Fair enough?”

Now you’re a real salesperson. Now you’re forced to go in with ideas and information about THEM that they can use for their own productivity, enjoyment, use, and profit.

And you now have a better than 50% chance of making the sale.

CAUTION: Unless your presentation is customized and personalized for the customer AND in favor of the customer, there will be a disconnect. Their dominant thought will be, “this guy doesn’t understand me and/or my business.”

Here are some keys to understanding whose favor your presentation is geared toward:
WE-WE — Statements about you that boast rather than prove.
WE-WE — Unfavorable statements about the competition.
WE-WE — Comparing yourself to the competition.
WE-WE — Self serving questions. “What do you know about us?”
WE-WE — Qualifying questions about who decides, budget, or payment.
WE-WE — Non-specific testimonials that praise you, but give no reason why.
WE-WE — Excuses about why you don’t have Twitter activity or a YouTube channel (they searched for it before you arrived).
WE-WE — No social media recommendations from customers.

THEM — Questions about THEM that reveal their history, their situation, and their motives — their past experience, their wisdom, their opinion. True engagement.
THEM — Testimonials that overcome specific objections — price and quality.
THEM — Any third party media that supports you or your product — articles or interviews.
THEM — Great (current) social media presence (your reputation that helps put the buyer at ease rather than on guard), including direct interaction with customers.
THEM — Ideas you created that they can use. Proof you did your “homework.”

KEY POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: Features are about you and benefits are in the middle. They can be stated either way. But value is about them. And value, customer perceived value, needs to be the focus of a “them-based” presentation.

WARNING: Don’t be defensive. I can hear you telling me that you give a customized presentation. I can hear you telling me that you’re different than all the other people on the planet. And I can hear you telling me that customers love your presentation, and all about the fact you can close three out of four people once you get in front of them.

I hope you can hear me say, “That’s a bunch of crap!”

Here’s how to measure your customization reality:
1. Amount of time spent on pre-call research. How well do you know the person and the company you are visiting?
2. The two great ideas you are walking in the door with will benefit them whether they buy or not.
3. The variations that you made in your presentation that adapt to their company, their present situation, their needs, their productivity, and their success.
3.5 Your knowledge of the customer’s buying motives are as good or greater than your selling skills.

Them-based are the most difficult sales presentations of all. Marketing departments have no concept of them, and most salespeople aren’t willing to do the work to prepare them.

That’s great news for the 5% of salespeople who are willing. They’re easy to identify. They’re always the highest performers and the highest earners.