No one really cares about your product. That is, unless it solves an important problem for them.
That is why skill #2 in our Sales 3.0 Series is building your expertise with micro-presentations highly tailored to each buyer’s goal to replace a product pitch.
The sales profession is still recovering from the disaster of the Sales 2.0 period (2011 to 2019).
Sellers were taught en masse to control and micro-manage the buyer journey.
The outcome was a dramatic drop in sales performance (from 59% of sellers on quota in 2009 to 43% in 2019) and sales VP tenure (from an average of 36 months in 2009 to 24 months in 2019).
Rampant product pitching was one of the unfortunate results of the Sales 2.0 period.
The purpose of your product discussion is not actually to show the product. It is to get the buyer to tell us if they see how the product could help them with an important goal.
Buyers are busy, distracted, and often overwhelmed. So, the amount of time you have to get your buyer to see and confirm goal alignment continues to shrink.
A well-executed micro-presentation solves this problem:
- Always starts with a transition phrase: “I heard you say, so I am going to show you…”
- Continue by using the product to show a “before and after”
- Leverage peer stories in the classic problem – solution – result format
- End by confirming if and where the buyer sees value
Start your product presentation with a phrase that sounds like:
- “I heard you say”
- “I understand your goal is”
- “One thing you noted that is important to you…”
- and so on.
You will get instant trusted advisor points!
Next, DON’T focus on just walking through your product. Show how your product brings critical capabilities to move the buyer from their current state to a more successful future state.
Follow the product discussion with a peer success story. It’s not enough just to claim impact; a buyer wants to see it demonstrated with a peer.
Finally, end the micro-presentation by seeking buyer feedback. Don’t ask questions that add little or no value, things like: “Any questions?” or “What did you think?” or “Isn’t that cool?”
Instead, use that pause to have your buyer tell you about the impact:
- “How would what I just shared help you?”
- “Where is the first place you would think to apply this?”
If you break up your product discussions into micro-presentations, you will learn a ton about what your buyers actually value. And, your buyers will be much more likely to invest in your solution.