The questions that matter most in a sales presentation.

by | 4 minute read

When you’re giv­ing your sales pre­sen­ta­tion, do you real­ly know what the cus­tomer is think­ing or what they’re ask­ing them­selves as you’re pre­sent­ing?

I doubt it. You’re too busy try­ing to sell.

Shake the hand. Smile the smile. Show the slides. Talk the talk. Do the demo. Ask the super­fi­cial ques­tions. Try the close. Try to over­come, “the price is too high.” Pro­pose the pro­pos­al. Do the sales dance.

Mean­while the cus­tomer is think­ing. He or she is ask­ing them­self ques­tions about the valid­i­ty of your prod­uct and your offer. They're think­ing about how your stuff might fit into their com­pa­ny. And while you're talk­ing they may be Googling.

While you are try­ing to prove a point, they are try­ing to ver­i­fy your infor­ma­tion. And in these times, they can do it in a nanosec­ond. And you can't stop them.

While you're talk­ing, they may be won­der­ing if you have a Twit­ter account. So they do a quick search and find out that you do not. What's that about? How val­i­dat­ing is that? If they ask you about it, you'll just brush it off. Sup­pose the cus­tomer is excep­tion­al­ly Twit­ter active? How does that make you look?

That's a small "tip of the ice­berg" exam­ple of the thoughts that dif­fer­en­ti­ate your sales pre­sen­ta­tion from the customer’s deci­sion to buy. But let me take it deep­er.

All cus­tomers, not just the deci­sion mak­er, have a buy­ing process. It’s a strat­e­gy and a process by which they make a pur­chase. And that pur­chase is based around the trust, safe­ty, and com­fort your cus­tomer feels when buy­ing some­thing from you.

In order to gain that trust, and that feel­ing of safe­ty, they asked them­selves a bunch of ques­tions with­out ever say­ing a word. You answer those ques­tions by the words you speak. Your job as a mas­ter sales­per­son is to answer those silent ques­tions in a man­ner that dri­ves the cus­tomer to say, "I'll take it!"

The fol­low­ing list of ques­tions is exact­ly what goes through the mind of a prospec­tive cus­tomer dur­ing your pre­sen­ta­tion. The list is long, and every cus­tomer may not ask them­selves every one of these ques­tions, but since you don't know specif­i­cal­ly which ones they are going to ask them­selves, you had bet­ter be pre­pared with answers to all of them.

Here are the ques­tions the prospec­tive cus­tomer is ask­ing:

  •  What do you offer?
  •  What do you offer that no one else has?
  •  What do you offer of val­ue?
  •  How does your prod­uct com­pare to oth­ers I have seen?
  •  Does it real­ly fill my need?
  •  Can you deliv­er?
  •  Is it real-world?
  •  Will it work?
  •  Will it work in our envi­ron­ment?
  •  How will it impact our peo­ple?
  •  How could it impact our suc­cess?
  •  Will senior or exec­u­tive man­age­ment buy in?
  •  Will my peo­ple use it?
  •  How will we pro­duce as a result of the pur­chase?
  •  How will we prof­it as a result of the pur­chase?
  •  How will it come togeth­er?
  •  How do we buy it?
  •  What’s the risk fac­tor in buy­ing?
  •  Will you and your com­pa­ny keep its promis­es?
  •  Do I trust you and the peo­ple I’m buy­ing from, both as humans and their abil­i­ty to deliv­er ser­vice after pur­chase?
  •  Will you be my main con­tact after pur­chase or are you going to rel­e­gate me to “the ser­vice depart­ment”?
  •  Do I believe you?
  •  Do I have con­fi­dence in you?
  •  Are you telling me the truth?
  •  Do I have the trust and com­fort to buy now?

HOLY COW! All that?

YES! All that and more!

This list of ques­tions is by far the most com­pre­hen­sive I have put togeth­er. They address both con­fi­dence in prod­uct and con­fi­dence in the sales­per­son.

The cus­tomer is seek­ing val­i­da­tion and wants to believe you. They need what you have and they're going to buy what you offer. The only ques­tion is: From who? Depend­ing on the answers to the above ques­tions, they may not buy from you. OUCH!

Here are a few more thought-pro­vok­ing chal­lenges to help you under­stand the buy­ing process:

1. The first sale that’s made is the sales­per­son. If the prospect doesn’t buy you, he’s not going to buy your prod­uct or ser­vice.

2. How’s your online rep­u­ta­tion? What’s your Google rank­ing and rep­u­ta­tion? NOT YOUR COMPANY. YOU!

3. What’s your social media rep­u­ta­tion? Not Tweet­ing is a choice, but a poor one. How about LinkedIn? Do you have a busi­ness Face­book page?

4. Did you offer proof? Did you use “voice-of-cus­tomer” as tes­ti­mo­ni­al proof to your claims?

5. Does the buy­er have enough peace of mind to pur­chase?

I have just giv­en you a mind full of sales infor­ma­tion, from the mind of the only per­son that mat­ters in your sales con­ver­sa­tions: the cus­tomer.

Jef­frey Git­o­mer is the author of twelve best-sell­ing books includ­ing The Sales Bible, The Lit­tle Red Book of Sell­ing, and 21.5 Unbreak­able Laws of Sell­ing. His books are now avail­able as online cours­es at www​.Git​o​merVT​.com. For infor­ma­tion about train­ing and sem­i­nars vis­it www​.Git​o​mer​.com or www​.Git​o​merCer​ti​fiedAd​vi​sors​.com, or email Jef­frey per­son­al­ly at

 © 2014 All Rights Reserved. Don’t even think about repro­duc­ing this doc­u­ment with­out writ­ten per­mis­sion from Jef­frey H. Git­o­mer and Buy Git­o­mer. 704/333‑1112

Jeffrey Gitomer

Jeffrey Gitomer

King of Sales | Inter­na­tion­al Sales Train­er and Keynote Speak­er | Best-Sell­ing Author at Buy Git­o­mer
Jef­frey Git­o­mer is the author of twelve best-sell­ing books includ­ing The Sales Bible and The Lit­tle Red Book of Sell­ing. His new book, 21.5 Unbreak­able Laws of Sell­ing, is now avail­able. For book tour dates and infor­ma­tion about train­ing and sem­i­nars, vis­it Git​o​mer​.com.
Jeffrey Gitomer


King of Sales, dad, grand­dad, writer, friend. Pre-Order my brand new book called Truth­ful Liv­ing: The First Writ­ings of Napoleon Hill (click below)
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