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What do you use to present and sell your products or services?
Do you use a customized pitch book, custom laptop presentation or do you rely on sales blab to sell your product or service?
Some may even use a combination of all of the above?
Please share your presentation style and how it has assisted you in staying relevant in these tough economic times in our industry.  Thanks You

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Thank you Luke for the reply. Have you considered putting together a presentation book using those brochures for you to review the products along with leaving them a copy?
Or if you use a laptop you could create a digital presentation to inform your client on the products of interest.
The advantage of putting together a structured presentation book would be to promote your services and products with all the right information to assist the buyer in selling themselves on the product and you.
I would suggest putting together your presentation on your company and it's products and services to separate yourself from your competitors, for they too are probably using manufactures brochures as their presentation.
It all depends on the prospect, I use all of the above or a legal pad. The key is to identify the type of person and fill the need.
The goal is to close the sale.

Mark Richter said:
Thank you Luke for the reply. Have you considered putting together a presentation book using those brochures for you to review the products along with leaving them a copy? Or if you use a laptop you could create a digital presentation to inform your client on the products of interest. The advantage of putting together a structured presentation book would be to promote your services and products with all the right information to assist the buyer in selling themselves on the product and you.
I would suggest putting together your presentation on your company and it's products and services to separate yourself from your competitors, for they too are probably using manufactures brochures as their presentation.
In my opinion, people buy from people. I'm like Luke; I'll provide you with all of the information that you need to make an educated decision. If I forget anything or you need something more, you have my number, email, fax, text, etc. I'll be happy to provide any additional information needed.

"Slick" sales presentations tend to turn me off, do I tend to stay away from them as a general rule of thumb. I been doing it for many, many years this way, and it's still working for me!
Yes the customer does want to view your product sheets after you have gone. If you have a company brochure you can put all the manufacturers material in it for their review. It is also important in that brochure you put all your information and story to review also so your brochure isn't the same as your competitors with a different cover on it. My suggestion was to utilize the power of a digital presentation.
Thank you Bruce for the excellent point. Yes you are right at the end of the day people do buy from people. With that being said they also buy from people with the most compelling and informative presentation. Look what computer generated 3d visualization has done to the way we design and present our pools. The same can be accomplished in your presentation using the power of a laptop presentation. No it should not be a plug and play slick presentation, but all the right information and the ability to customize each presentation as the presenter needs in assisting the customer in making the right choice in pool builder YOU.
I too have been designing pools for a quarter century and found that personality and presentation together create a winning combination. My philosophy is that if you do a better job of designing and educating you don't have to ask for an agreement, the customer will ask you to build their dream pool.

Bruce Wettstein said:
In my opinion, people buy from people. I'm like Luke; I'll provide you with all of the information that you need to make an educated decision. If I forget anything or you need something more, you have my number, email, fax, text, etc. I'll be happy to provide any additional information needed.

"Slick" sales presentations tend to turn me off, do I tend to stay away from them as a general rule of thumb. I been doing it for many, many years this way, and it's still working for me!
Thanks Mark. I started in the industry as a Superintendent and "graduated" to designing and selling later. I was drawing by hand (and not using stencils and tracing either!) and then decided to learn AutoCAD from the guy that drew all of the commercial pools for the company I worked for. That was a huge step at the time, and I was able to use my laptop to not only show my potential customer my design, but to also make changes (move the spa, add a waterfall, etc.) while speaking with them.

I no longer design or sell pools (I own a company that treats water www.poolservicestech.com), and also work for a plaster company, where leaving material for finish options is a good part of the job. I have a lot of competition for work, and try to be very aware of what the customers needs are and how I present myself in relationship to how the "other guys" do it. I think that appearance, professionalism, a great attitude and a willingness to provide guidance and listen to the customers wants is really the key to making the sale. Maybe my current work does not make for a real laptop presentation (I can guide them to our web page for time lapse video), but I think that the individuals presentation and professionalism is the driving force in making the sale!

Great topic! I'm going to keep following it and see if I can learn something new!
Yes personality,presentation and professionalism is key to making the sale. You mentioned you guide them to your website for more information which is great, have you considered putting the information from your website on a laptop to assist in guiding them through your product and services? Then suggest they visit it again at their leisure.

Bruce Wettstein said:
Thanks Mark. I started in the industry as a Superintendent and "graduated" to designing and selling later. I was drawing by hand (and not using stencils and tracing either!) and then decided to learn AutoCAD from the guy that drew all of the commercial pools for the company I worked for. That was a huge step at the time, and I was able to use my laptop to not only show my potential customer my design, but to also make changes (move the spa, add a waterfall, etc.) while speaking with them.

I no longer design or sell pools (I own a company that treats water www.poolservicestech.com), and also work for a plaster company, where leaving material for finish options is a good part of the job. I have a lot of competition for work, and try to be very aware of what the customers needs are and how I present myself in relationship to how the "other guys" do it. I think that appearance, professionalism, a great attitude and a willingness to provide guidance and listen to the customers wants is really the key to making the sale. Maybe my current work does not make for a real laptop presentation (I can guide them to our web page for time lapse video), but I think that the individuals presentation and professionalism is the driving force in making the sale!

Great topic! I'm going to keep following it and see if I can learn something new!
A pitch book is one of the most basic sales tools to have with you at all times. I am updateing mine all the time, with new photos, products, ect. But that said I am just as comfortable taking out a piece of paper (napkin) and drawing my prospects idea and getting a comitment from them as to what they want to spend, and enough info to come back with a full presitation. I use and like Pool Studio. But the key to making any sale is to listen to the client and know when to stop and close the sale. If we all only sell one way that we are comfortable with we will tend to sell to the same type of people. Not everyone wants or needs all info on everything we sell, if they do I give it to them but for the most part I like the KISS method (keep it simple stupid).
Thanks Glen for your input on this discussion. Since you are bringing your laptop in to design in 3d, have you considered creating your pitch book in digital format on your laptop? This makes it easier to update and customize and it will always have a bright, clean fresh look vs a worn out pitch book.
Yes the most important aspect of winning the customer is listening, listening, listening and knowing when to shut up and pause.
Nice discussion Mark - hope that all goes well with you & PoolProOffice in 2010 !!

As poolbuilders back in 1996, we created PoolDraw in order to be able to provide a laptop presentation to prospective customers by engaging them in their own design. We would often work out of home builder models and would present the pool options and customize the designs with a few mouse clicks. As you said Mark, today's 3D visualization has added a great dimension to the sales presentation.

As PoolDraw I talk to many poolbuilders from all over the country - both existing PoolDraw users & prospects. I always ask how they get their leads and handle their sales calls. For some pool builders their laptop is their main tool - they are set up to design on the spot and get immediate feedback from the prospective customer. Others are more comfortable taking notes, hand-sketching ideas and getting back to the client with design ideas and a proposal. The time saving advantage of using software to design a pool is the ability to create a variety of renditions of the same design/backyard space .... move/resize the steps from a to b, adjust the pool size (perimeter/area) to work within a budget, position the pool to create different deck space .... and therefore easily provide more than one option for the prospect to choose from. As Glen said "it all depends on the prospect" .
Yes we can't forget to mention Ed and Pool Draw for being the pioneers in designing and using the laptop for presentations in the home. Pool Draw creates excellent 2d designs, 3d designs and construction plans you can build and cost with. Keep the presentation going.

PoolDraw said:
Nice discussion Mark - hope that all goes well with you & PoolProOffice in 2010 !!

As poolbuilders back in 1996, we created PoolDraw in order to be able to provide a laptop presentation to prospective customers by engaging them in their own design. We would often work out of home builder models and would present the pool options and customize the designs with a few mouse clicks. As you said Mark, today's 3D visualization has added a great dimension to the sales presentation.

As PoolDraw I talk to many poolbuilders from all over the country - both existing PoolDraw users & prospects. I always ask how they get their leads and handle their sales calls. For some pool builders their laptop is their main tool - they are set up to design on the spot and get immediate feedback from the prospective customer. Others are more comfortable taking notes, hand-sketching ideas and getting back to the client with design ideas and a proposal. The time saving advantage of using software to design a pool is the ability to create a variety of renditions of the same design/backyard space .... move/resize the steps from a to b, adjust the pool size (perimeter/area) to work within a budget, position the pool to create different deck space .... and therefore easily provide more than one option for the prospect to choose from. As Glen said "it all depends on the prospect" .
Thanks for the shout-out Mark -
I was talking to one of the sales guys using your PoolProOffice today ( or as he called it - the PPO);
said that it works well in his company - an electronic filing cabinet so management can keep track of everything.

With your iPhone app - are you offering the customization for end users? Do you set up their presentation that they then share with clients & customers?

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