A while back a sales rep came to tell me about a new range of printers. I wasn't expecting to be overly excited by his pitch, but I did need a new high-tech, high volume printer. He had done his homework. He had collected information from my office manager about the type of printing we did, the type of machines that we needed, the volume, etc. So he didn't need to ask me a lot of questions.

After a few introductory minutes of chitchat, he pulled out an egg timer, the old-fashioned type with grains of sand running through it. He put it on the table and said, 'In less time than it takes to boil an egg, I'm going to give you five extremely compelling reasons to buy this machine from me today.'

He certainly had my attention! I sat back wondering how he would convince me to buy a $10,000 printer in a few minutes. He continued:

Reason 1
This printer has been voted the best in its class by 100 of the world's leading companies.

Reason 2
We have customized a package that means you will not spend one cent on maintenance
during the life of the printer.

Reason 3
I have calculated that based on your current printing workload this machine will save
you $3000 per year (I was outsourcing a pile of printing that this machine would enable
me to do internally).

Reason 4
We have pre-approved a finance package that means you have one low monthly
payment for as long as you want the machine and there is no minimum period that you
are required to keep it.

Reason 5
I have one in the van outside and an installer ready to put it in and set it up right now.
One signature and the deal is done. You will be printing within 30 minutes.

Do you think I purchased the machine? Absolutely. And the company lived up to every one of its promises.

Most sales people do the same old dreary presentations. They do what they have always done and it is boring and ineffective. Normally they just press play and start reciting a pile of technical facts and figures that mostly mean nothing to anyone except other tech people.

I suggest that you look for ways to make your presentations memorable. Be different, take a risk, and stand out from the crowd.

So what were my key "take home" lessons from watching this man in action:

  1. He had done his homework very, very well.
  2. He knew each of my objections ahead of time.
  3. He had come up with solutions to any possible objection (and these objections were impossible to refute).
  4. He answered each question before I asked it.
  5. He made it ridiculously easy for me to say "yes". Right down to the big question - cost.
  6. He delivered on every promise (it was a great printer).
  7. His pitch was memorable in every way - unique, smart, time sensitive and I think of it every time I see a terrible pitch.

This is a great example of a very smart sales professional at work. I think all of us could take a leaf out of his book.