Adjust your presentation across the hierarchy for a faster close

If the sale is to succeed, the presentation must be tweaked appropriately for content, style and duration. So, adjust your presentation across the hierarchy.

To begin with, picture this. You tell your finance or managing director that, “Reconciliations are not being done correctly in the accounts department.” Likely, he irritatingly wonders, worse, for you, angrily utters, “Why are you telling me this?  Sort it out!” And an opportunity to bring suspicion of fraud to the surface is lost. But if you told him that, “There are financial inconsistencies”, you will see his face tighten and him sitting up with rapt attention. Now, you are speaking his language.  This example manifests itself in the selling process and is the cause of many lost sales. Especially in business to business (B2B) selling.

Tweak content, style and duration

Now then. The B2B seller finds himself presenting the same product or service across different cadre. From the user to the decision maker. From lay employees (say factory floor) to managers or executives. If he is to succeed, the effective presentation must be tweaked appropriately for content, style and duration as you go up the hierarchy. The higher you go, the less time you have and the less technical (and more business oriented) you are expected to be.

For instance, if it’s a compact switchboard you are selling, to the user you could sell that it saves physical space and looks nice. Management will respond more positively to cost savings made on space, and time manning the former expansive switchboard. Plus, the value for money the purchase will bring. Because the more inspiring surroundings will enhance efficiency. How? The user will respond to more calls, faster.

Adjust your presentation across hierarchy

Adjust your presentation across hierarchy. Illustration

Imagine you are selling gloves and being a progressive seller, you start with a high (management) entry point. Good. However, you waste the opportunity if you start by talking about the latex in them. The manager’s eyes will likely glaze over and he will take a renewed interest in his smartphone. On the other hand, if you opened the sale with, “Safety is being compromised at your factory”, you will see him put the smartphone down and give you his full attention. He understands this language. He lives it every day. In fact, safety is one of the core values in his foods factory.

Now then. Selling the same gloves to lay staff (the users) will find you talking about the latex, comfort and such technical matters. Perhaps even demonstrating how heat proof they are. After all, you have time and that’s the language they understand (meaning aspects they are concerned with).

Beware

What does this all mean? The foregoing would seemingly imply that you need only speak the manager’s language and you are home and dry. You wish! The successful B2B sale must be sold across all cadre. In fact, the convinced executive will likely say, “I see how we will sharpen our operational excellence with your two-way lift. But, before proceeding, I need to hear what the warehouse manager says as it is his team that will be using it.” This is not an objection. It is a practical and responsible concern and should be addressed as such. Adjusting your presentation across hierarchy, how would you do it? Hint.


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