Listing Tips 5:
A Critical Presentation Lesson I Learned While Trying To Persuade a World-Class Salesperson. (Hint: I lost.)
You've heard again and again how critical it is to end your presentations on time. And that requires a prompt start. But what if the most important person to your presentation doesn't show up on time?
Many years ago when I was pushing replacement window systems I made one of my first appointments with a wealthy man who lived in a very large home. Closing the deal with him at full price would have meant big money to me. I was stoked.
We made the appointment for 5:30 P.M. which gave me one hour to show my product, close the sale and let him go to dinner. Plenty of time I thought. But that's not the way it happened...
I arrived at his luxurious home ten minutes early, parked and pulled the product from the car. I walked up to his front door, knocked and waited. And waited.
It was almost 6 P.M. before my prospect came home. He was calm, cool. Took his time pulling in, leaving his car. He was very polite, invited me in and even helped me carry my things in.
I had less than thirty minutes to do a thirty minute presentation. "All you have to do is talk faster," I said to myself.
He did ask me how long it would take. I said "An hour, but I'll give you the abbreviated version."
"Would you like to do it another time?" he asked.
"No, no," I said, afraid if I left his home, I would lose the deal.
"Perfect," he said.
Five minutes into my presentation I realized I was way behind and rushing, missing critical points in my presentation and glancing at my watch all the time.
I tried to get to the close several times but he always steered me away with another question on the features of the windows. He was interested, it was obvious, but not in the price.
Finally, I started to panic when he stood up and started to put his coat on...
What happened that night was a classic example of why salespeople should never compromise the length of their presentation: I got the deal, but my mistake cost me over half of the original commission.
Moral of the story: stick to your guns when it comes to the integrity of your presentation. If someone recommends you abbreviate your presentation, reschedule the appointment, take your time and don't impose unnecessary pressure on yourself by holding blindly to deadlines. If you'll do this, your pocketbook will thank you.
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If you want to make good use of your time, you've got to know what's most important and then give it all you've got.
~ Lee Iacocca : Philanthropist, former Chrysler CEO, former Ford President
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