Salespeople are constantly looking to create presentations that convince the audience to buy or perform the suggested action. Being unique and different while effective remains the core of how salespeople succeed in business presentations, If you are going to utilize presentation software to design and create your presentation, there are certain elements and strategies that are tried and true and can help salespeople win more business. From our years of experience, we have seen many who have done amazing jobs leverage effective presentation techniques, and we wanted to supply several strategies you can utilize to help you win more business.
Speak To Their Challenges
The crux of business is that there is a challenge or problem someone or something is having. Large or small, there is a relative level of importance associated with it. The moment sales professionals lose sight of this and only speak to their capabilities is when they lose more sales presentations. We are not looking to be debbie downers, but instead having the main problem at the forefront helps outline all the ways my product or services can solve whatever challenge you are facing.
80/20 Rule – Focus Mostly On Them
We would even go as far as to make this 90/10. 10% of the presentation should be about yourself while the other 90% should be about the company and how you plan on solving its challenges. I’ve been in pitches where sales teams talk only about their product or service, their company’s capabilities. They mention the company’s challenges in a passing way without really speaking about what’s important to the prospect. How do you avoid this pitfall? By showing them you really understand their challenges and you know even the sub-challenges that are affecting them.
Showcasing value is another important area. If people do not understand the value you are bringing to the table, especially relative to other competitors, you are less likely to win the business. Value can be derived by the prospect as the speed of the solution, cost, opportunity, etc. Remember value is typically relative and compared to another measure.
Speak Even More To Their Opportunities
As sales people, we must address their challenges but we also have to speak to the light at the end of the tunnel. “If we do this, X will happen.” Those opportunities should be peppered strategically throughout the presentation and utilized throughout the conversation and where they make sense.
Leverage The Power Of Case Studies & Stories
Probably one of the most important aspects of a presentation is case studies and stories. Showcasing your ability to deliver value to the other “similar” clients or customers who derived value from your product or service is a great way to win business. But be careful not to come off as too sales like. Too many sales people will say, “so and so was able to save $2,000 on their electricity bill, and we can do it too.” People don’t like to be sold to and there are many other creative ways to discuss how your company has added value to prior clients. It’s better to be educated and informed in a way to gives them the power to choose your product or service. If you can do this you’re well on your way to more business.
Get As Much Information Before The Presentation
Before a sales presentation, it is best to ask as many appropriate questions as possible. The more information you have, the better equipped you’ll be to deliver effective sales presentations that speak to their challenges. Another reason for this is your competitors may be asking many other questions of the prospect if you are competing against other providers. Here is a list of sample questions to ask:
- What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve been facing in your market?
- What challenges did your previous provider not solve for you?
- What are the major expectations you have for any new company you hire?
- What is your budget and what were you spending with your previous prover?
- Who are the main people who be involved in this decision?
- Who else are you considering for this project?
Use Comparisons Only When Necessary
Use comparisons only sparingly. You don’t want to come into a presentation talking about a competitor who they may not even be considering. However if you do know that they are considering another company, it may be beneficial to subtlely address your strengths relative to the weakness of your competitors and really drive that point home in how that directly address your prospects’ challenges.
Have A Backup Plan
Rarely do salespeople have a backup plan. What do we mean? Well, say your prospect indicates a new challenge they didn’t explain to you before and you’re caught off guard. It’s important to improvise. It comes down to thinking through the other challenges the client may have while addressing the main challenges they told you they were having. Bottom line, come as prepared as needed to ensure that if anything goes wrong with the presentation or you’re thrown off, you have a fail safe to latch onto.
Allow Prospects To Ask Questions Throughout
Sales presentations can be great. But conversations with the prospect are usually the most effective sales presentations because it becomes an open dialogue. This also helps the prospect get to know what type of professional or team they would be working with. If you are speaking the entire time, the prospect may have questions that we were not able to address but may be critical to whether you won the assignment or not. In the beginning, we recommend telling the prospect to feel free to interrupt you with any questions you may have.
Ideal To Keep It Below 45 Minutes
Long presentations are never fun. Being able to get your point across in a reasonable period of time is more effective than speaking for more than an hour. Typically a prospect will allow you a certain amount of time. However if it is open ended, try to keep it between 30 – 45 minutes and save room for more questions at the end. This further proves you’re efficient and effective in your communications.
Showcase Your Market Knowledge
Going back to the 80/20 rule, try to showcase your market knowledge whenever possible and always work to tie that insight back to the challenges the prospect is facing. Show them what opportunities they can take advantage of as a result of you knowing that bit of information. In the commercial real estate field, understanding the market was in fact one of the best strengths a broker could bring to a pitch. But if that market knowledge isn’t being translated into how you can solve their problem, then it won’t be as effective.
Make Sure Visuals Are Appropriate & Effective
Keep the bullet points to a minimum. Visuals are usually most effective, even in business presentations. The world we live in is comprised of competitive forces. Simplicity is always an important factor and if your competitors are using bullet points and long description in their presentations while you’re using good looking visuals that buttress your points, you’re already winning the day.
Have Your “What-If” Questions & Answers Prepared
Come up with a list of 10 – 20 questions and rebuttals the prospect will have. This is sales 101, but doing this in a pitch or sales presentation is even more crucial if you’re dealing with an audience or a group you or your team is pitching to. In addition, make sure every team member is prepared to potentially answer these questions, not just you or the individual who’s the lead on the assignment.
Practice a Minimum ofo 2 Times
This goes without saying, but the best salespeople are good because they’re done it many times and have corrected prior mistakes. They always practice before they pitch a new prospect. You won’t to visualize and control what will be said in the meeting but by practicing you naturally feel more comfortable, relieve your nerves, and come across as more confident. Confidence is key in a sales presentation and without it, your prospect will not have confidence in your ability to solve their problem.
Leave The Pricing In The Proposal – Not The Presentation
Some people choose to put their pricing in their presentations. On occasion, this is reasonable if the client asks for it, but it’s typically best to leave out and simply add that to the proposal that is submitted to the prospect without them focusing on it throughout the presentation.
Use A Call To Action At The End
As the very end, be sure to ask them for something. Whether to schedule another phone call in a week, asking for the business, or speaking with other representatives who are integral to the decision, this is an important area most salespeople miss. You can do it in a way that is fair and reasonable. This keeps you in the conversation and shows that you are truly concerned about solving whatever problem the prospect is having.
Presenting Technology Products
Technology is changing so rapidly that presenting products in an attractive and understandable manner is becoming difficult.
If your company is looking for a way to differentiate itself from the other vendors in your area of business, you are going to have to develop new ways to market yourself and explain the benefits.
A great place to do this is on technology news websites. In the fast-moving world of technology, there is no time to waste when it comes to getting your new technology product on the sales floor and having customers comfortable with buying it.
Every good presentation is a good presentation builder that fit the intricacies and identity of your organization. At CustomShow, we believe our presentation software can do just that. If you’re looking for more design tips and tricks check out our partner SalesGraphics.