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3 Different Types of Sales Presentations (3.5 minute read)

The art of being a great salesperson is, in my opinion, best achieved when you marry inborn personality characteristics and training with a sales system that takes advantage of the science of making money.

The system that most sales professionals use can be broken down into 4 individual steps. These steps kept in the correct order produce consistent and predictable results. The methodology and technology used to execute this system is merely the “how” and can be personalized to fit any salespersons preference and more importantly any customers preference.

The 4 steps of the sales process at its core are:

  1. Finding prospective customers and getting an appointment.
  2. Discovering the needs of the customer.
  3. Presenting a solution that meets those needs.
  4. Closing the sale.

To be clear this article is focused on developing sales presentations after you have met with and discovered the customer’s needs.

In the post What Kind of Sales Person Are You? we talked about 5 different types of salespeople. Just as there are different types of salespeople there are different types of sales and each type of a sale requires a completely different approach.

3 different types of sales presentations

Type 1 – Selling an Individual Product 

This is the simplest type of sales presentation and can be used in B2C and B2B sales situations.

As a sales professional, you have already discovered the needs of your customer by asking a series of questions and now all you have to do is match the customer’s needs with one of your products. The product must solve their problem and fit their budget. You demonstrate the product, highlighting the appropriate features and benefits, this builds curiosity and buying desire and then you close the sale.

Type 2 –  Selling an Entire Product Line

Selling a product line is a much more complicated sale and is typically only for B2B sales situations.

When a customer considers changing from one product line to another they must consider many more factors than just the features and benefits of the product line and the purchase price.

The factors a customer must consider include:

  • Does it make sense to change this product line at this time?
  • With limited resources can I afford to use valuable time and effort on making this change?
  • How much will the change cost in downtime?
  • Will the savings of the new product line offset the cost of the downtime and produce an additional profit?
  • Will my customers purchase the new product line and will it generate new customers?
  • Will I lose customers because I no longer carry the old product line?
  • Will the new supplier provide me with the same or better service?
  • If I decrease my sales with the old supplier will that cost me in the future?

The list of factors goes on and on and this is why so many proposals based solely on features, benefits, and price are rejected by the customer. In order to successfully sell an entire product line to a customer, you will need to convincingly demonstrate that the return on investment produced by changing is far greater than staying with the status quo.

Sadly even when you successfully demonstrate enormous value a customer may reject your proposal simply because they don’t want to take the time and effort to change. Complacency is often your greatest enemy.

Type 3 – Changing Suppliers

This is a challenging type of sales presentation, can be used in B2C and B2B sales situations, and is similar to selling a product line.

When a person or a business considers changing from one supplier to another they must consider many factors. Prices, service, reputation, hours of operations, quality of products, payment terms, and the environmental and social record of the supplier are just a few of the considerations.

In order to convince a customer to make that kind of change, you will need to present enormous value, demonstrating that your company can exceed the service of the previous supplier and explain how making the change, which is very disruptive, will yield far more return on investment than if they stayed with the status quo. Again complacency is your enemy.

A Note of Caution

Basically, when a person or business who is considering making a wholesale change from one supplier to another approaches you typically one of three things have occurred:

Situation 1 – The previous supplier has made a catastrophic mistake or has ignored repeated complaints from the customer and they have decided to move on.

Situation 2 – The previous supplier and the customer were not a good fit. This happens sometimes and no one is really at fault.

Situation 3 – The previous supplier has fired the customer because they are unreasonable and/or yield no profit due to endless customer service complaints that are not legitimate.

As a sales professional, it is your job to uncover exactly why the customer is wanting to make such a drastic change. You will do yourself and your business a huge favor by screening these customers. You do not want to take on situation 3.

In Conclusion

As sales professionals, the better we become at understanding what type of sales presentation we should use the more sales we will make. The quicker we are at uncovering the needs of the customer and convincingly demonstrating how what we sell will not only solve a problem but also create a return on investment the more sales we will close.

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Author: Jamie Irvine

My name is Jamie Irvine and I have been a Sales Professional since 1997 and an Entrepreneur since 2009.

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