Tessa Stowe

Article Summary:

A sales presentation tip on matching the features and characteristics of your services that will solve your potential client's problems.

Sales Presentation Tip: Matching

The secret to presenting to a potential client is "matching." Prior to presenting, you would have asked plenty of questions and uncovered the problems they want solved. The next step then is to present your solution and to do lots of matching.

What do I mean by matching? Matching is where you make the connection between the problems a potential client wants solved and the features/characteristics of your service that solves those problems.

Your solution has lots of features/characteristics and some are relevant to the potential client and some are not. You want to sort all your features and characteristics into two piles. Pile one consists of the features/characteristics they care about - as they solve the specific problems they have discussed with you. Pile two consists of the features/characteristics they will not care about - as they don't solve any of the problems they have discussed with you. Note that you can only do this sorting if you've asked enough questions before you present.

To prepare for your presentation, look at all the features/characteristics your potential client cares about (pile one). The next step is to then "match" each of the problems they want solved to the feature/characteristic of your service that will solve it for them. When you present, you then show the connection between the problems they have agreed they want solved and the features/characteristics of your service that solves those problems.

If you do not do the matching for your potential client, they will be left trying to work out what aspect (features/characteristic) of your service can solve their problems. Also if you do not do the matching, your potential client will feel you haven't listened to them, amongst other things.

To explain this further, I am going to use a simple example of buying a car. Even though I do not like to stereotype car salesmen, this is a good example for matching.

Scenario One
The car salesman asks you what sort of car you're looking for and what is important to you. You tell him. He then shows you a car and proceeds to tell you all about the features of the car that you frankly could not care less about. He just goes on and on telling you absolutely everything about the car. Sound familiar?

Scenario Two
The car salesman asks you what sort of car you are looking for and what is important to you. You tell him. He then shows you a car and describes exactly what features of the car will give you each of the things you said are important to you.

Who would you buy the car from? Would you buy from the car salesman in scenario one or scenario two? Who did matching?

What would you be thinking with the scenario-one car salesman?

You might be thinking:

  • He didn't listen to me.
  • He doesn't understand me.
  • Why did he ask me what I wanted as he clearly wasn't interested?
  • I am not sure if it meets my needs. I am confused.
  • I am bored and irritated.
  • How can I get away from this person?

What would you be thinking with the scenario-two car salesman?

You might be thinking:

  • He really listened to me.
  • He understands me.
  • I can clearly see how this meets my needs.
  • I am interested.

When you present your solution, demonstrate that you have been listening and that you understand their problems. Only present the features/characteristics that solve the specific problems they have been telling you about. That is what they're interested in and what they will care about. The key to presenting is in the matching!

Tessa Stowe teaches coaches, service professionals and recovering salespeople 10 simple steps to turn conversations into clients without being sales-y or pushy. Her FREE monthly Sales Conversation newsletter is full of tips on how to sell your services by just being yourself. Sign up now at www.sales conversation.com.

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