An effective sales presentation can often mean the difference between closing a deal and losing out to a competitor. That means it’s important to get it right and wow the influencers and decision makers. Here’s five key strategies when planning the perfect sales presentation.
Know who your audience is.
Find out beforehand who all is expected to be at the presentation. Take the time to learn about each person and look for ways you may be able to connect. LinkedIn can be a great resource here. You should also know the roles of each person and what level of influence they have on the decision. The more you know here will enable you to tailor your presentation accordingly and ensure it’s on the mark.
Remember the presentation is about your buyer.
When you structure a presentation, you want to design it so that it’s customer focused. Specifically, what are the buyer’s problems or pain points? How does what you sell solve those problem or alleviate that pain? Link the two together.An example of linkage could look something like, “In our previous conversations, you mentioned that you’ve had breaches in the past. Our products use AES encryption, which is the US government gold standard form and considered impossible to break. This will help prevent the previous issues you’ve experienced and give you peace of mind.”
Allow for real-time questions but keep control of the flow of discussion.
We’ve all been in presentations where we’ve had a question, but the presenter asks us to hold them until the end. This is a terrible idea. Why? Because then the audience is paying less attention to the presentation, pre-occupied with their question.Allow them to ask their question and answer it. If it’s covered later in your presentation, say something like, “That’s an excellent question and one I thought would come up. I’ll be discussing the answer in a few minutes.” Then, after you’ve delivered the portion of your presentation that answers the question, circle back to the asker and confirm.
Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.
Sure your presentation isn’t a Shakespeare production. But it’s still something you need to run through as many times as possible beforehand to make sure you’ve got it down cold, yet natural. This is particularly true if you’re team presenting – either with other sales reps, an SME, or both. The greatest broadcasting and podcast teams work well together and flow seamlessly because they’ve practiced and honed their communication and interplay. Strive for the same in your presentations.
While it’s important to have everything laid out and well-practiced beforehand, the best-laid plans of mice and men go oft awry, as the adaptation of Robert Burns notes. Be prepared for things to go askew – the computer with your PowerPoint crashes, projector stops working, etc. There are myriad ways for things to go sideways.Have contingency plans built in. Technology refuses to work? See if the room has a whiteboard and bring dry-erase markers. If not, then have hard copy handouts. Bring your documents on a USB drive, etc.
Presentations are monumental undertakings that can literally make or break your chances of getting a deal. Using these guidelines we’ve provided will give you the framework to make sure your presentations are the best they can be.