This book has been written for students of marketing and sales and for beginners in the field of selling. The topics covered will give you a better understanding of the areas that you need to develop in order to sharpen your sales presentation skills.
Selling is a profession that goes back centuries, and in every civilization salespeople have played a critical role in promoting business and trade. However, the nature of selling has transformed significantly over the years and present day salespeople operate in a totally different economic, business, and technological environment. During the past fifty years, mass production & distribution of goods and services increased the importance of marketing and sales activities. In today s competitive marketplace, companies have to make greater effort to boost their sales in order to gain profitable market share. Besides other promotional tools, they rely heavily on their sales force to push their products and services to potential buyers.
The field of personal selling has gone through many stages of evolution. Early salespeople used to follow a hard sell approach with minimal concern for the desires and interests of potential customers. In recent years, a more customer-focused approach to selling has gained popularity. Salespeople are expected to study the needs and expectations of their customers and offer viable solutions to their problems. The problem-solver salesperson fits better with the marketing concept than does the hard-sell salesperson. Buyers today want solutions, not smiles; results, not razzle-dazzle. They want salespeople who listen to their concerns, understand their needs and respond with the right products and services (Kotler and Armstrong, 1999, p 864)." Nowadays, salespeople try to build long-term relationships with their customers through various value added selling strategies. This in turn leads to improved customer satisfaction, loyalty, and long-term retention.
Salespeople perform a wide spectrum of selling roles, ranging from simple retail store order takers, to sellers of airplanes and luxury houses. They are believed to be working predominantly in business-to-business (B2B) markets, but selling to end-users is not uncommon. No matter what kind of salesperson you are and what type of products you sell, you need to have effective sales presentation skills to be successful in your profession. Making a sales presentation is one of the many steps in the overall selling process. All of these steps are interrelated and interlinked; sales presentations cannot be made in isolation and must integrate with the overall sales process. We all make different types of presentations in our professional life, but a sales presentation has different dynamics, as it deals with potential buyers of your product, and thus has implications for the success of your company s marketing strategy.