Sales Presentation Skills That Get You To “Yes” Faster

In this episode of the Sales Gravy Podcast, Jeb Blount talks to renowned sales experts Richard Fenton and Andrea Waltz about their “Go For No” approach to embracing rejection in sales. They discuss how the fear of “no” sabotages sales presentations and what salespeople can do to deliver more successful and engaging presentations that get them to “yes”.

  • The fear of failure and rejection can sabotage sales presentations and affect performance.
  • Embracing rejection and understanding its value can lead to more successful sales presentations. The “Go for No” strategy involves intentionally increasing failure rate and using each “no” as valuable data for growth.
  • Preparation and structure are essential in delivering compelling sales presentations. Improvisation in sales presentations can come across as unprofessional or unprepared. Don’t just show up and throw up.
  • Storytelling is a powerful tool to engage the audience and connect with them on a deeper level. Sharing stories about overcoming challenges and how your solution helped can capture attention and emotions.
  • Losing your place or stumbling over words during a presentation is common, but maintaining composure and smoothly continuing is key.
  • Well-prepared presentations instill confidence in the salesperson and engage the audience more effectively. But it’s important to bring passion and authenticity to sales presentations rather than striving for perfection.

The Fear Of “No” Derails Sales Presentations

In the dynamic world of sales, where each presentation is an opportunity to forge valuable connections and secure vital deals, a formidable adversary often lurks in the shadows—the fear of failure and rejection. It’s a sentiment that frequently courses through the veins of salespeople, affecting their confidence and ultimately their performance. This fear, while entirely human, can become an insidious obstacle to delivering compelling sales presentations.

But here’s the paradox: it’s precisely this fear, when understood and harnessed, that can catapult a salesperson from mediocrity to mastery. This podcast delves into the heart of this challenge, exploring why salespeople often grapple with the fear of rejection and failure, how it affects their ability to engage their audience, and most importantly, why embracing this fear can be a game-changer in the competitive world of sales.

What Is “Go For No” All About?

The concept of “Go for No” is about intentionally increasing your failure rate and intentionally hearing “no” more often. The idea behind this is that when you embrace rejection, it paves the way for more “yeses” to come.

However, this doesn’t mean that you should simply keep hearing “no” without making any improvements or using the feedback from those rejections. It’s important to treat each “no” as valuable data for growth. For instance, you can set goals based on the number of “no” responses you aim to receive, and actively seek out opportunities to hear “no.”

Don’t Show Up and Throw Up

In the world of sales presentations, there’s a phrase that often rings true: “Don’t show up and throw up.” It’s a cautionary mantra that reminds salespeople of the importance of preparation and structure in their interactions with potential clients. Showing up unprepared, with no more than a vague idea of what to say, can lead to a meandering and unconvincing pitch. Instead, successful sales presentations require careful planning.

Salespeople should have their notes ready to go, create a basic outline for the conversation, and prepare specific talking points. While improvisation might seem like a way to appear more “natural,” it often results in coming across as unprofessional or unprepared. A well-prepared presentation not only instills confidence in the salesperson but also engages the audience more effectively.

And the truth is, when people speak without preparation, they often start in the middle and then backtrack to mention something they forgot. Eventually, they reveal their main point, which they were saving for the end. Sometimes, the desire to sound natural can be exaggerated.

However, it is perfectly fine to take a step-by-step approach. For example, lawyers in a courtroom follow a clear path. They ask a question, receive an answer, and mark it as completed on their yellow notepad.

Feature Dumps Don’t Engage Audiences, Storytelling Does

Sales presentations are not just about pitching products or services; they’re about engaging the audience. One powerful way to achieve this is through storytelling. Rather than launching into a dry pitch, consider weaving a compelling narrative into your presentation.

Share a story about someone who faced a challenge similar to what your audience might be experiencing and highlight how your solution came to their rescue. Stories have a unique ability to capture people’s attention and emotions, making them lean in and connect with your message on a deeper level. In the realm of sales, it’s not just about what you’re selling, but the story you’re telling.

What to Do If You Lose Your Place During a Presentation

Even with the best preparation, unexpected hiccups can occur during a sales presentation. One common fear is losing your place or stumbling over your words. The important thing to remember in such moments is not to freeze. A momentary pause to collect your thoughts can work wonders. Your audience is unlikely to remember a minor fumble in your presentation.

What they will remember is how you handled it. By maintaining composure and continuing smoothly, you demonstrate professionalism and resilience. So, the next time you find yourself momentarily lost during a presentation, take a deep breath, regain your bearings, and confidently continue. It’s a small hiccup in the grand scheme of your presentation’s impact.

Bring Passion To Your Presentations, Not Perfection

However, when I started out, I would replay my speeches and criticize myself. I would be embarrassed and beat myself up over mistakes or missed elements. It was excruciating, and I would feel so horrible that I didn’t want to face anyone.

But then, people would tell me that it was the best speech they had ever heard. I realized that nobody really notices when you make a mistake, unless it’s a major blunder. People don’t pay much attention to it.

You may notice and feel the mistakes, but they don’t. They see you responding to adversity with grace, and they can relate to that. But I realized that people appreciate me giving my all, even if I stumble or make up words sometimes.

As a salesperson, you may not be speaking in front of thousands of people, but the same principles apply. I bring my own energy and authenticity, and that’s what people love.

So, first off, remember that you don’t need to be perfect. Be yourself and bring your passion to your presentations. That’s what will resonate with your audience.

Overcoming The Fear Of Failure Is Crucial To Your Success

Embracing rejection and overcoming the fear of failure is crucial for success in the dynamic world of sales. By intentionally increasing our failure rate and treating each “no” as an opportunity for growth, we pave the way for more “yeses” to come. It is important to approach sales presentations with careful planning, preparation, and structure, avoiding the pitfall of showing up unprepared.

Utilizing storytelling techniques helps to engage the audience on a deeper level, while maintaining composure and confidently continuing in the face of unexpected hiccups showcases professionalism and resilience. Ultimately, it is not about striving for perfection, but about bringing our passion and authenticity to our presentations, resonating with our audience and forging valuable connections in the competitive realm of sales.

The innovative Sales Gravy University sales training platform gives on the go individuals and entire teams easy, affordable access to the world’s top sales trainers in both live and on-demand courses. Now you can learn how to win in sales anywhere, anytime, and on any device. 

About the author

Jeb Blount

Jeb Blount is one of the most sought-after and transformative speakers in the world…

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