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Conversational Presenting: 3 Best Practices For Sales Reps

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Sales representatives don’t always have it easy. Communicating with a buyer and providing them the information they need to get through the funnel takes time and effort. In today’s B2B buying landscape where the buyer has already done his or her research before having their first conversation with a sales rep, it’s important to know what kind of information will help buyers make a purchase.

That is where conversational presenting comes in. I recently attended an interesting webinar hosted by Prezi, a presentation software provider, about the topic and learned that this type of presenting is extremely valuable to both the sales rep and the buyer. Conversational presenting focuses on exactly what information should be presented during a meeting so nobody’s time is wasted.

What’s important to know is that people don’t want to be sold to in the same way. There are buyers who have zero knowledge of your company or product, and there are buyers who, through research, have boat loads. With that said, a sales rep simply cannot go through the same presentation for both types of buyers.

Most buyers spend about 15 hours of research online and offline before they talk to a sales person, according to Spencer Waldron, European Regional Director for Prezi and presenter of the webinar. And now, instead of meeting three or four times prior to a purchase, they only meet once. This means a sales rep has a lot less time with each buyer, which means they’ve got to make it count.

Waldron shared a variety of best practices for sales reps to engage with their buyers during the webinar, here are some key takeaways:

1.   The Conversation Controls The Presentation

Since the buyer is most likely coming into the meeting with some sort of knowledge of your company and/or product, Waldron said it’s important to 1.) thank them for their time, and 2.) ask them how they’d like to spend that time.

“When [the buyer] comes in, they could be half way through the decision process, so make the most of their time and don’t give them information they already have through research,” he said. “The presentation shouldn’t control the conversation. The conversation controls the presentation.”

Waldron said to have a layout of different categories that are relevant to your company and product. After asking your buyer what they’d like to know from the beginning, look at your presentation and choose the relevant category for the person asking the questions.

2.   Take Time To Look At Body Language

For in-person meetings, sales reps should watch for body language during their presentation. If the buyer is still engaged, you can continue to go into more detail, but if it looks like you’re losing their attention, go back to your category overview and ask them what else they’d like to know.

Naturally, it’s a bit more difficult to read the buyer’s body language during a phone call. When gauging the buyer over the phone, sales reps must ask if the information they’re providing is what buyers were expecting.

3.   Track Your Presentations Beyond The Conversation

It’s possible for a buyer to ask for a copy of the presentation to look at on their own time or share with colleagues. At that point, Waldron said the sales rep may lose control, so analytics is important.

Make your presentation a URL, so you can see which categories they’re looking at the most, where they’re stumped, and how many times they’re sharing it.

“This will take conversational presenting a stage further,” said Waldron. “You’ll be able to see the areas of interest and find gaps you need to fill in your presentation.”