Walk in Empty Headed – Walk Out Empty Handed

by Jeffrey Gitomer

How much of your presentation is canned?

Whether you sell a product or service, whether it’s simple or sophisticated, what percentage of your presentation is the way you usually present it? Void of personalization. Void of customization. Void of interaction. And all about you.

What kind of presentation do you think your prospect wants?

They want to know:
• What the value is to THEM
• How this fits into THEIR business or life
• How THEY benefit
• How THEY win
• How THEY produce
• How it affects THEM
• How THEY profit
• How easy it will be put to use in THEIR environment

And NONE of those elements exist in your standard canned presentation. Rats.

Why are you giving a “we-we” presentation – all about you and how great you are – when the customer only wants a presentation in terms of them?

Here’s the reality: When you walk in empty headed, you walk out empty handed.

IDEA – Take all the boring crap you were going to say to the customer and send it to them in an email saying, “Here’s my presentation for the part you could find on Google or on our website, so that when we’re together I don’t bore you. Rather, I’ll be prepared to give you ideas that lead to < state how they win >. Fair enough?”

Now you’re a real salesperson. Now you’re forced to go in with ideas and information about THEM that they can use for their own productivity, enjoyment, use and profit.
And you now have a better than 50 percent chance of making the sale.

Caution: Unless your presentation is customized and personalized for the customer – AND in favor of the customer – there will be a disconnect. Their dominant thought will be “this guy doesn’t understand me and/or my business.”

Here are keys to understanding whose favor your presentation is geared toward.

These are what I call WE-WE messages:
• Statements about you that boast rather than prove.
• Unfavorable statements about the competition.
• Comparing yourself to the competition.
• Self-serving questions like “What do you know about us?”
• Qualifying questions about budget, payment or who decides.
• Non-specific testimonials that praise you, but give no reason why.
• Excuses about why you don’t have Twitter activity or a YouTube channel. (Trust me – they searched for it before you arrived.)
• No social media recommendations from customers.

THEM-focused messages can reveal their history, situation and motives – plus their past experience, wisdom and opinion. That’s true engagement.

Here are a few THEM-focused messages:
• Testimonials that overcome specific objections – such as price and quality.
• Third-party media – articles or interviews – that support you or your product.
• Great (and current) social media presence. Your reputation that helps put the buyer at ease rather than on guard – including direct interaction with customers.
• Ideas you created that they can use. Proof you did your homework.

Key point of understanding – features are about you and benefits are in the middle. But value is about them. And value – customer-perceived value – needs to be the focus of a them-based presentation.

Warning – don’t be defensive. I can hear you telling me that you give a customized presentation. I can hear you telling me that you’re different than all the other people on the planet. And I can hear you telling me that customers love your presentation, and all about the fact that you can close three out of four people once you get in front of them.

I hope you can hear me say, “That’s a bunch of crap.”

Here’s how to measure your
customization reality:
1 Amount of time spent on pre-call research. How well do you know the person and the company you are visiting?
2 The two great ideas you are walking in the door with will benefit them whether they buy or not.
3 The variations that you made in your presentation that adapt to their company, their present situation, their needs, their productivity and their success.
3.5 Your knowledge of the customer’s buying motives are as good or greater than your selling skills. Them-based presentations are the most difficult sales presentations of all. Marketing departments have no concept of them. And most salespeople aren’t willing to do the work to prepare them.

That’s great news for the 5 percent of salespeople who are willing to do the work. They’re easy to identify – they’re always the highest performers and the highest earners.

Jeffrey Gitomer is the author of 12 best-selling books including “The Sales Bible” and “The Little Red Book of Selling.“ He just published two new sales books, available exclusively on Amazon’s Kindle – “Win Now!” and “The Sale Re-Defined.” They will change the way you think and sell. His website,, will lead you to more information
about training and seminars. Email:
© 2013 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about reproducing this documentwithout written permission from Jeffrey H. Gitomer and Buy Gitomer. (704) 333-1112

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