Even as sales people, I am sure I stand correct in assuming that a lot of us have found ourselves on the opposite end of a sales pitch and couldn’t wait for it to be over with. Then you sit back and ask yourself: “I wonder how many prospects viewed me the same way?” A sobering thought, isn’t it?
The fact of the matter is, people are sitting in every sales presentation with the understanding that the person standing up there is trying their best to get them to fork over money. You know what that does to your presentation from the very beginning? It sets you back past zero. Yup, that’s right. Every sales presentation starts at ground negative one.
Prezi, a company specializing in presentation software, conducted a survey of 2,000 sales reps from the United States on how they perceive presentations at work. Out of that number, 70 percent of them who were often left with the fearsome task of presenting admitted that giving good presentations are vital to their overall success at work.Seventy-five percent of those presenters agreed that they want to improve their presentation skills.
Even if your presentation is wonderfully designed with great visuals and slides, full of eloquent words, if it isn’t relevant to the recipient’s’ needs, failure is guaranteed. On the other side, if what you’re presenting to a prospect is relevant but you fail to engage them in a two-way “conversation,” it can still be disastrous.
Make Your Presentation Relevant To Their Predicament
We’ve all done it at some point in time during our sales career: we find ourselves starting out with the same old dross introduction. Maybe the introductory slides have been altered a few times since their inception in order to give it a fresher feel as time progresses. Nevertheless, it is still a tired and played-out introduction and everyone sitting before you is yawning.
Something companies and sales reps haven’t seemed to learn after generations of failed presentations and millions of people lulled to sleep: No one really cares about your headquarter and branch locations; nor do they care about your investors or present clients; they’re thinking about what they’ll do after this dull presentation is over as you’re going on about your sales growth. You know what it is they really wanted to hear? How your service/product is relevant to them.
Key number one: Know your mark. What issues are they facing? What questions should you ask them at the presentation that will open the door to dialogue? Always put yourself in their shows. In this way, your presentation becomes more personal to them.
Create a Connection With Them
This may seem redundant, but some things can’t be brought home enough. When you are presenting your brand, what you do should fully engage the prospect in your sales narrative and transform it into more of a conversation. Talking to them rather than with them is a surefire way to end up back to that negative square one we talked about earlier. This means you should tap into that inner Emotional Intelligence and read your prospect’s body language and facial expressions to see if you still have their attention, or should you switch gears.
If you notice that a certain aspect of your presentation has triggered negative or, at the very least, neutral reactions, slow it down and engage them by asking if they have questions. This helps you build that relationship with them – shows that you actually care about solving their issue(s).
Keep It Short and Sweet
Don’t fall into the trap of redundancy. A lot of us tend to repeat points that we feel important, or we may start rambling when we feel the need to start filling in conversational space. There is no need to approach your presentation like a premier movie night on a syndicated TV channel – filling it with fluff because you have a two-hour slot but only 45 minutes worth of presentation.
A very crucial rule to get used to: only discuss what is important to the prospect in order for them to grasp why your product/service is important to their business. Once that’s done, simply wrap your presentation up and see if they’d like to ask questions or discuss anything further.
Be Enthusiastic and Energetic
The sound of your voice is important. It should be upbeat and somewhat excited about presenting the product/service to your prospect. Due to the uptick in video marketing, there may be a time you are forced to conduct a presentation via live stream. If your presentation is done via live streams, such as Facebook Live or some other social media venue, don’t be shy to interact with those asking questions or commenting on the comments stream. Treat them as if you are speaking to them face-to-face rather than like Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. If you believe in your product, others are more inclined to as well.
Some sales reps have a habit of talking in a monotone voice if they’re familiar with the product and sales pitch. Actually, the more you know your product and your sales lines the better of a show you can put on for people.
Dig as Much Feedback out of Them as You Can
You achieve a few things at once as you are getting feedback from prospects:
- It creates that dialogue we covered earlier in this article. When prospects see that you’re interested in their feedback, it shows them you are interested in their opinions.
- Feedback from prospects allow you to gather information for your next presentation. As you collect data from numerous people you’ll be able to engage with others much better down the line.
- As you gain an insight into what your target market is looking for in a service/product, you can position your brand as a knowledgeable leader in the industry.
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