Sales presentations can be extremely crucial for a business. It’s all about sparking an intellectually stimulating conversation and getting your foot in the door. The key is to make the presentation more about the audience than focusing it on yourself.
More often than not, sales presentations fail to address the needs and requirements of the audience, and end up becoming more about the product or the salesperson. This can either happen due to lack of experience in sales presentations, or just sheer procrastination and failing to plan in advance.
The absence of planning is often what results in sales presentations going downhill. It means that you end up using duplicated slides, winging it through the process, using buzzwords, and beating about the bush till the allotted time has been used up. While this may work at times and can be overlooked if you weren’t given enough notice to prepare your sales presentation, it’s best to have a more efficient approach.
Before you structure your presentation using your laptop, write it down. Writing out your sales presentation will help you get an idea of the outline you’re going for. This will not just include the major points for the presentation, but also the questions you wish to ask, and so on.
Yet another thing to remember is ensure you’re talking to the right person. More often that not salespeople make the mistake of talking to those who’re not in charge of making the decision. Therefore, do you research well, and before you confirm the appointment, make sure that you’re about to meet the right person in charge.
If you want to wow your audience and kill it at your next sales presentation, read on to know some tips that will help you do so.
The importance of knowing who is in the room and how they would like to communicate just can’t be understated. Before you attend to your presentation, it’s crucial to conduct an audience analysis. Spending time in knowing about your audience is even more vital than spending time in making your slides. Knowing your audience will be the source of your confidence and engagement.
Our emotions are known to affect our buying decisions. Therefore, it’s best to know what drives your audience emotionally. The success of your presentation can consciously or subconsciously be affected by several emotional factors. The elements to consider include:
There are things you need to consider, such as who are the decision makers present in the room and what’s important to them, whether they’ve recently made a similar purchase, what is their decision-making process like, etc. Arriving for your sales presentation completely prepared and having researched your audience well is what will set you apart from your competitors. However, being prepared is more than just knowing the answer to routine and regular questions.
1 . Whether the cultures of your respective companies match
2. What do their customers expect from them
3. Their reasons for bringing you in as a partner
4. The troublesome bits they worry about
5. The hierarchy among the people present in the room
6. The customs and values that they hold the highest in their lives
Knowing your audience’s psyche can help you modify your sales presentation accordingly. It may not seem like much, but it really does affect the success of your presentation.
Before you walk through the door, the goal of your sales presentation should be clear in your head. You should be aware of whether it’s the day you close the deal, or whether those present during the presentation are due to take the matter to higher authorities.
Knowing the authority they possess and what the next steps are going to be gives you the confidence you need, which in turn makes them confident, too, regarding your potential as a trusted advisor. This builds a level of trust and gets them to stop worrying about certain issues since you’ve provided the solutions to them.
Another thing to remember is how in-depth the presentation is predicted to become. If you think there’s a chance they will ask you detailed questions regarding a product or so and you don’t hold all the knowledge regarding it, then it’s best to let a product expert or subject matter expert accompany you.
Each and every element you add to your pitch is of vital significance. Before you begin to brainstorm the segments of your pitch, think about what your audience might constitute as a good meeting. Post that, you can start listing out the questions, the talking points, the slides, and so on. If you feel that a particular element isn’t adding value to your pitch, feel free to remove it.
As stated earlier, the focus of your presentation should be on your audience, and by deducting the fluff from your presentation, you demonstrate respect for the time and needs of those watching your presentation.
Don’t let your presentation be the book you blindly read from. Use the slides merely as an inauguration point to start elaborating on each and every explanation or argument. Instead of textbook presentation, let your presentation be as conversational as possible. Your ability to hold the attention of the different kinds of people in the room will ultimately determine the success of your presentation.
Earlier, a salesperson would keep certain ideas to himself or herself till their company landed a client. However, times have changed now, and your fresh ideas are the reasons you get clients. Therefore, never be afraid to reinforce your ideas.
Your clients want stories and relevant content from your sales presentation. Make sure each and every story you present is unique and not a copy-pasted version from a previous day. Show them what it will be like for them to be working with you through materials like stories, videos, books, and relevant statistics. Keep your references, work samples, and case studies with you in case they wish to see it.
One way to show your energy and enthusiasm regarding your presentation is by asking meaningful questions. Don’t just rely on your slides to start a conversation, and rather do so through your questions. Before you get to that, build a rapport with your audience so that you make them feel comfortable enough.
Once that has been established, you can both ask as well as answer questions. Make the atmosphere warm and not rigid by exploring your audience well enough in advance so that you can ask questions that will benefit both the parties.
Here are some questions you can consider asking before, during, and after your presentation:
1 . We value the time you’ve given to us. What can we focus on to make this presentation the most productive for you?
2 . Did you recently have to switch software or suppliers? If yes, then why so?
3. Are there any objections you think we will have to overcome?
4. Once your presentation is done, you can ask if they think you missed out on something or didn’t cover, or if there’s a point they’d like to go over in more detail.
Ask questions that go beyond just costs, price, procedures, and the technical aspects of the prospect’s business. Don’t shy away from tapping into their emotional psyche, because that’s the only way you will understand their real needs, which in turn will help in building a positive relationship.
What comes after the presentation is just as imperative as what comes during and before. If you’re given an hour for your presentation, keep at least half an hour or 20 minutes for the post-presentation routine. During this time, you can delve deeper into the questions asked earlier, or even add to the points you made. This is a great opportunity to show your clients and prospects that you truly care and are interested in listening and not just talking.
Post this, comes the follow-up. Thanks to the constant presence of technology, you can use your email or instant messaging to follow up with your clients. Don’t just send them a generic email or a template that applies to almost everyone. Include something specific or personal from the presentation. Refer to something they mentioned or asked you or shared with you during your interaction. Personalisation will always help you go a long way with your clients.
The clients and customers of today don’t just want data. Therefore, your aim should be to sell not just your products, but also experiences. The attention span of people is dwindling with each passing day, therefore, the only way to keep your audience hooked is to share stories and experiences that they can relate to and remember fondly when thinking of your sales presentation.
Nailing a sales presentation is all about wanting to keep learning and growing, much like any other skill. It’s not an art you master overnight; it takes patience, practice, and refining. Even the most seasoned salespeople are always looking for new ways to sharpen their pitch and get their audience excited for new products. Therefore, don’t let your thirst to learn more die down, and keep these tips and tricks in mind to ensure that your next sales presentation is your best one till date.
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