Let’s say you’ve been invited to present your third-party administration services to an important prospect. What’s the first thing you should do?

    1. Update your 25-slide PowerPoint
    2. Conduct some research
    3. Send an email to your team asking them to send their contributions for the presentation

If you answered 1 or 3, tune in. These strategies generally lead to a disaster known as the “show up and throw up.” It’s not effective.

What should you do instead? In one word – FOCUS.

First, focus on your prospect.

Customerthink.com reports that the #1 mistake sales professionals make is pitching without proper research.

Take time to get to know your prospect. Who are they? What do they do? What industry are they in? How big is their team? Are they in one location or many? What unique challenges do they face? Who you do you currently serve that may be similar? Do you have a relationship with this account’s broker?

If you have a relationship with the account’s broker, ask questions and gain insights. If you already serve accounts in a similar industry of a similar size, involve the account manager. Find out what problems you’ve solved for similar customers.

Next, focus your presentation on the most relevant points.

As a wise person once said, “A confused mind never buys.” Unfortunately, 25-slide PowerPoints often confuse prospects by covering too much information. Instead of covering everything, focus on the important things that will matter most for this prospect.

If possible, ask the prospect to name the key problems he or she wants to solve. Get this information BEFORE you build your presentation, so you can focus the discussion on how you can solve the identified issues, and how you’ve already solved these problems for other clients.

If the discussion will include a review of your Travisoft benefit administration software, be sure to focus on the capabilities that will save this prospect the most time. Below are a few general suggestions of topics to cover for employers and brokers. Please customize these lists for the unique needs of your prospects.

Selling Travisoft to an employer? Talk about: Selling Travisoft to a broker?  Talk about:
1. Customizable notice features 1. Flexible system configuration for accounts of all sizes
2. Automated reporting / subscription features 2. Single point of access from which brokers can view all clients
3. Online participant access on credit card payment capabilities 3. Automated reporting / subscription features

Finally, focus on finishing strong.

Sales are often won and lost in the final 10 minutes. You must be charismatic, helpful and problem solving. Take a leadership role and secure agreement on the crucial next steps before you part ways. What else does the client need to reach a decision? Are there other stakeholders? How will you follow up? Whatever you do, don’t let your sale die due to lack of clarity.

By focusing on your prospect and building a presentation that illustrates how you can solve your prospect’s unique challenges, you will close more sales. It may require a little more time up front, but the extra effort will soon show in your closing ratios. Whatever you do, never, ever, show up and throw up!