I can remember one of the first formal sales presentations I gave. It was via a WebEx presentation over 12 years ago. I was selling a very technical product and the participants were a combination of executives, users and technical decision makers. I was a bit nervous, to say the least. My management had given me a lot of information to discuss and I was not comfortable with it. I ended up looking at their business and deciding what would be important to them. I left out all the information about how great our company was and just gave them what they wanted. I focused on the challenges they were currently having servicing their customers. After the presentation, I won the business.
1) Audience and Purpose. Many sales professionals have a “canned” sales presentation they use with all audiences. This is a death wish – it kills your chances of progressing to the next step of the sales cycle. Instead, look at the level of experience your audience has with what you are selling and the purpose of your presentation. Once this is determined, you can start to design a presentation that will make them sit up and take notice.
2) Open and Close. Just like when you take an airplane flight, the most important part of the trip is the take off and landing. Mess those up and it’s fatal. Think about how you want to open and close your sales presentation. The way you start and finish is not only the most memorable part of your presentation, but it is also what clients will use when they form an impression of you and your company.
3) Use Examples. This is the 100th year that Dale Carnegie’s wisdom has been teaching professionals the art of motivational speech. He used what he called a “Magic Formula,” and the key ingredient to that formula is the example, or story. From childhood, we love to hear stories, so present a story of how other clients have benefited from your products or services. This is a powerful form of evidence that can give the prospect a clear picture of why they should move forward in the sales process.
4) Benefit to the audience. Many sales professionals talk themselves out of a sale. Make sure that everything in your presentation relates back to what the customer needs, so they can see the benefit. Take out any information that isn’t necessary because they could raise objections in the mind of your prospects.
Our job in a sales presentation is to show the prospect how they could benefit from our solution or product. When we tailor our sales presentations we can motivate people to buy what they already need!
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