The “Mock” Sales Presentation
Anyone in a Sales role will likely be familiar with the final stage of an interview process – the mock sales presentation. This is typically the last step, where you have wowed the team, and they are now asking you to conduct a sales presentation ‘as if for real’ to show what you are made of. In an increasingly competitive market with the best roles at the most exciting companies always in high demand, here are my thoughts, and observations on how to tackle this crucial last stage:
Tip #1 – Select their Solution
Invariably you will be given a choice – present your current company’s product, or sell your potential employer’s product. The safe option is to go with your own product, while the really impressive option is to research, learn and understand their product, pitching it back to them. As they say there is danger in the comfort zone, remember in competitive situations, most candidates will likely play it safe – so you should dare to be bold!
Tip #2 – Research & Prepare
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail! In briefing candidates I always provide guidance that if they research, and prepare beforehand, there is no need to be concerned. The battle is won before it is fought – as a fighter who trains hard in the gym, once they get in the ring the fight is already won, they simply execute what they practiced. There are no excuses for not doing your due diligence for any presentation, or meeting, as everything is accessible online. With the proper deep preparation, pre-defined probing questions, you will be way more comfortable, and relaxed in the presentation
Tip #3 – Make it Real
Treat this as you would a real potential client sales presentation. Take control early on, set an agenda for the meeting, as your time is limited. Have highlighted notes in front of you to make sure to cover the few consultative questions so you know how to adjust the main value props, and key differentiators as to why your Product is superior, and they must have it. Give everyone a Persona to make it more real. How you handle the presentation with them is how they figure you will handle yourself when pitching their product to the market. Be ready for curveballs, they want to see how you field questions, think on your feet, take command of the room. Lastly, if you do not have an answer to a question, do not bluff, it is okay to say ‘great question, I will talk with my team about this and revert back’ – just do not use this mulligan more than once.
Tip #4 – Be Engaging
You have the first 10 seconds to engage the Group, be dynamic, be yourself, and have some fun with it. Smile, give a laugh or two when appropriate, be a bit loose, make the room comfortable. The goal is to take them swiftly, and steadily through the presentation that grabs, and retains their attention throughout – you are their guide. Most importantly, close with some sort of next steps/actions items/ask for the deal – Always Be Closing! If you have made it to this stage the chances are the team assessing you, are rooting for you. They like what they have seen, and you have impressed them to get this far, so everyone will be very happy if you perform, and deliver; bring your “A” game!
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