To improve sales performance, remember to switch your hat... and only wear one at a time! Let's talk about the difference between educating and presenting. There is no doubt you are aware of the products, or capabilities, you have to sell. Most of your clients are aware of your "heritage" products, but when it comes to some of the more complex products you are capable of delivering, your clients and prospects need to be educated about what they are and—more importantly—how they can use the products to achieve their business goals.
You may think that the perfect time to do this is while you're presenting. But more and more, I'm seeing this as a dangerous choice. Why? Clients will automatically say no to those things they are unfamiliar with. So they give your big, beautiful presentation the proverbial hatchet job, and all those awesome new capabilities are cut from the buy. It's not that the client isn't intrigued; they just don't have enough information to say yes to something they are unfamiliar with.
Save the educating for the needs analysis stage. It fits perfectly when discussing rough ideas or potential solutions—before the proposal stage, but while you are in a stage where you are still throwing out possible ideas as a means of helping to define the problem you will ultimately solve.
If you need to have a separate meeting to explain an exciting new product, then do so. Remember, we are not going after a one call close. We are looking for no surprises when we submit the proposal. It's generally pretty hard to get confirmation on something that someone knows little or nothing about. Closing is a process that involves multiple steps. Educate first, then present.