There are certain trends that I believe are critical to sales success in today’s environment, and this is one of those trends. I believe turning presentations into conversations is one of the keys to closing more business.
“Sitting on the Same Side of the Table as Your Customer,”™ which is both literal and figurative, is a collaborative process and philosophy I developed.
You want to sit on the same side of a table as your customer whenever possible. Imagine you are in a conference room. There are two or more of you representing your company. Traditionally, you would all sit on the same side of the table and your customers would sit on the other side. You would then present to them.
My recommendation is you split up so you have representatives on both sides of the table. This would also encourage your customer, should they have more than one person, to also split up. By doing so, this inherently creates a conversation. It also helps to eliminate the feeling of “us versus them.”
You may get a strange look or two from your customer, as they aren’t used to it. However, you will probably find that they appreciate the change and the more relaxed conversational atmosphere.
The figurative part of this philosophy is your customer should feel like you have an arm around his or shoulder. (I would not recommend actually doing that unless that is a natural part of your relationship with them). They should feel like you are working together to see if there are opportunities that are good for both of you.
You can close a lot of business by creating a conversational atmosphere versus traditional presentation methods.
About the Author
Michael Levin is a Manex Consultant who specializes in sales, presentation skills and management/leadership training. He is also President of Custom Solutions Inc.