Sales Tips: Scripted vs. Tailored Sales Presentations
By Connie Schlosberg, Primary Intelligence
Is it better to have a scripted sales presentation or a tailored one? The guiding principle in any sales process should be listening to your buyer and tailoring your sales presentations to meet your buyer’s unique business needs.
Then again, having a template for your presentation is helpful because you don’t have time to reinvent the wheel every time you need to present to a new prospect. Just plug and play, copy and paste. Makes sense, right?
Scripted versus Tailored Sales Presentations
First of all, as part of the sales process, of course, it makes sense to have a presentation template available. We know what you’re thinking: Everyone’s busy and there’s no time for creating sales collateral for just one prospect.
However, we wouldn’t recommend ruining your chances of winning a sales opportunity by sacrificing just a short amount of time it will take to get to know your buyer and their preferences.
For example, our program consultant interviewed a buyer who complained that our client’s presentation felt too mechanical, stale, and rehearsed. The buyer said the sales team’s presentation sounded scripted and boring. Needless to say, our client lost the sales opportunity.
Sales Presentation Templates: Wash, Rinse, Don’t Repeat
The sales team used a script that was based on an approach that they found to be effective with other prospects. The buyer even admitted they were fine with that approach the first time. However, when they heard the same script in follow-up presentations, it came across as disingenuous.
The buyer revealed the competitor’s sales presentation was more casual and the sales team spent the time understanding the business needs and talking directly to those needs.
What’s the Most Effective Approach?
Nonetheless, we’re not against scripted sales presentations. Some buyers prefer the scripted approach to ensure everything is covered. Others prefer a problem-solving type of session. Do some homework on your buyer to figure out their preference. Or simply, ask the buyer before you develop the sales pitch to see which one would be most effective for them. (Read “Why Knowing Your Buyer is the Key to Successful Sales Presentations” for more best practices.)
No matter what, if you give them the wrong sales presentation, odds are you’re going to lose no matter how exceptional your solution is.