"I know from experience even extremely talented people generally do not cover everything unless they list all the issues on paper first, then study them," she says. "When you wing it, you tend to leave out important ideas or stray off course."
Successful sales professionals believe they can be top producers, are experts in listening and possess excellent presentation skills, according to a sales book written by a Certified Speaking Professional.
Integrating strong debating skills with sales ability and a likable personality can equal sales success, Terri Sjodin says in her book New Sales Speak: The 9 Biggest Sales Presentation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them, Second Edition.
"The salesperson who has the most charismatic and believable presentation, the best argument supported by the strongest facts, is the one who will be perceived as offering the greatest values," Sjodin writes.
The first step to take to avoid making sales presentation mistakes is to be prepared.
Sjodin's 271-page paperback provides the framework for developing solid sales presentations along with tips and hints on how to creatively customize the material for each client.
This is one way to keep the presentation fresh for the individual and not bore them, which is another mistake that Sjodin highlights in the book. "One of the reasons people don't listen and retain information is that they are bored," she says.
One way to combat boredom is to weave important and interesting facts into the presentation that the client will pay attention to. Sjodin encourages salespeople to investigate what hobbies and interests the client might have.
She also suggests practicing control over how the voice sounds during the presentation delivery. "Take a tape recorder on your next one-on-one sales call," she advises. "If your presentation is boring on the tape, you need to spice it up."
Visual aids can help engage the client and add that extra spice, but should not be relied upon as the focus of the presentation, the book states. "Don't use too many visual aids," Sjodin warns. "If you do, they might lose their impact and bore your audience."
Elevator pitches are today's sound byte presentations. Sjodin devotes an entire chapter to the development of the three-minute speech that can help open doors to the all-important sales presentation.
"This is a mini-presentation intended only to intrigue and arouse her interest and encourage her to meet with you in the future for a longer, more in-depth presentation," she explains.