51. What questions do you ask to design your presentation?

Before making a presentation ask yourself the following questions:

1. Do you have a price advantage or a price problem?

If you do not have an advantageous price, don't say a thing about price. Make sure that your benefits are strong enough to get people interested so that when you follow up directly they will be sufficiently interested to pay a higher price.

2. Who is the person who will buy your product or service?

There's no substitute for actually talking with prospects and customers to see what motivates them to buy your products or those of your competitors.  Every situation is different, and you can make the most of your selling and marketing efforts if you make your presentation to the person that can be most influential in the sale.

3. What are the economic benefits of using your product?

If you can say that your product or service will save the customer money, time, or effort, you have a great competitive advantage.  If you can document this with figures you'll have a very persuasive story to tell.  Don't be afraid to go into the details.  If your customer is even the least bit cost conscious, they will listen to every word of your presentation.

4. What is the product made of or what does the service consist of?

Carefully study the product or service you are going to sell.  If it is a product, get all the details on how it is made, what it is made of, etc.  If it is a service, describe exactly what the service consists of.  Write out the description as if you were explaining it to a young child who knew absolutely nothing about it.

5. What does the product or service do best?

All products have several features and benefits that will appeal to prospects.  Before you say a word, determine which of the benefits will be most important to the largest segment of your market.  Keep in mind that a feature is a fact about the product or service and a benefit is what the feature will do for the customer.  People buy benefits, not features.

6. How important are your competitive differences?

Your product or service may be better than that of a competitor on a point that doesn't make any real difference to the person who must make the choice.  Don't be fooled into using this advantage as a benefit.  Even if you do have a great competitive advantage over other products, never knock the competitors.  But do make sure that your reader knows the difference and appreciates what it will mean if your product is bought.

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