I wanted to strangle them! They were the technical experts. But it was my sales presentation! They were suppose to help the sale process by answering technical questions. But, their comments disrupted the flow of my sales demonstration.
Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever done a joint sales presentation only to have your partner throw you off-stride? For example, a sales person will talk about the benefits of their product, only to have their technical person go off on a tangent about the product’s research and development.
Remember, a co-presenter should be like a dance partner. You can anticipate each other’s moves and go with the flow. But it takes practice. To avoid stepping on each other’s toes, here are some guidelines to successful joint sales presentations:
- Before the session develop a game plan for the presentation. Decide who will take on certain topics. For instance you might deal with pricing questions while the software expert deals with programming questions.
- During the session it is okay to have differing viewpoints. Having a different perspective from your co-presenter can add options to your sales pitch. But show respect for your co-presenter’s opinions. Instead of disagreeing with them in front of a client, you can say, “In addition to John’s technical comments, I’d like to add how this impacts your front-line operations…”
- Give warning before asking your partner to make a comment. They might be thinking about their next segment of the presentation instead of paying attention. Instead, get their attention and recap the question. For example, I would say, “That’s a great question, perhaps Karen (my co-presenter) would like to answer that one. Using her name gets Karen’s attention. Secondly, I would recap the question in case Karen wasn’t listening. Finally, I’ll ask, “What do you think, Karen?” Using this three step process gives Karen some warning and provides time for her to think of an answer.
Working with a co-facilitator is like having a dance partner. You want to flow to the same music. You need to avoid stepping on their toes. And when you are both working together, a joint sales presentation can be highly effective.
© 2008 Reflective Keynotes Inc., Toronto, Canada