The Sales Presentation, love them or hate them they are an essential part of the salesperson’s job.
“According to most studies, people’s number one fear is public speaking. Number two is death. This means to the average person, if you go to a funeral, you’re better off in the casket than doing the eulogy.” – Jerry Seinfeld.
It’s true people rank fear of public speaking as Number One, 75% according to the American National Institute of Mental Health.
However, as a salesperson you’ll be expected to deliver a sales presentation, the bigger the audience the bigger the fear factor. If you find giving a presentation nerve racking, do something about it, personally I recommend Toastmasters.Toastmasters have clubs throughout the world; some 16,400 individual clubs. Speaking from personal experience I can’t recommend Toastmasters enough, it’s a fantastic way to learn how to communicate in public, at your own pace. At first it may come across a little archaic but it’s stood the test of time; Toastmasters has been around since 1924.
Almost all sales presentations will involve visual aids. After all “A picture is worth a thousand words” is an adage understood throughout the world. As a sales professional you are trying to influence people’s decisions and a presenter who stands up and uses visual aids is considered to be:
- More professional
- More persuasive
- More credible
- More interesting
- Better prepared
The sales presentation is all about preparation, Benjamin Franklin said, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”. The 6 P’s of preparation are:
95% of how well your sales presentation will go, is determined before you start.
Some of the things you need to consider are:
- Your audience – Who will be there and what influence they will have on the buying decision. You will need to address most if not all of them. We covered this here Understanding Buying Influences
- PowerPoint – You’re probably using Microsoft PowerPoint, just make sure you use pictures rather than text. The image above “Four Questions Every Company Needs to Answer” is much better than unreadable text!
- Check for grammar mistakes
- If you state a fact reference a credible source
- Don’t have too many slides
- Get There Early – Get to the venue early and try to scope out the room to ensure you can make your presentation. Ensure you’ve a backup e.g. handouts of the presentation in case your equipment isn’t working, or you haven’t a wall to present on
- Don’t start Off with an Apology
Remember “people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel” – Maya Angelou. So, make sure you’re entertaining. Going through the Toastmaster’s programme is a good way to hone your skills.
You can employ the power of storytelling which we’ve covered HERE. So put as much of your presentation in story format
- Define your objectives – Ensure you understand and can justify the purpose of the presentation
- Design your ending first – This should be an impactful summary
- Create a powerful opener – First impressions last
- Design your presentation body – Tailored to your audience
- Time – Write out an agenda and put times against items on the agenda
- Rehearse, rehearse and rehearse
Sales Presentation Structure
- The Opening – Define what the audience would like to achieve
- The Body – Structure the presentation that shows that you are there for their interests
- The Close – Show that your solution allow the audience to avoid, problems, minimise risk and reach an outcome
- Build Rapport
- It’s all about your audience so spend as little time as possible about how big or great your company is. One slide, one minute! That’s all you need about you
- Don’t rely on an internet connection unless it’s unavoidable
- Make the sales presentation specific (their product, their company data)
- Sales Presentation Conduct:
- Keep it simple and make sure to involve the audience. We’ve a whole post on discovery questions HERE
- Dress appropriately, whether that’s suit and tie, smart casual or shorts & tee-shirt
- Clarity: Spoken language is clear and is easily understood
- Vocal Variety: Uses tone, speed, and volume as tools
- Eye Contact: Effectively uses eye contact to engage audience
- Gestures: Uses physical gestures effectively
- Audience Awareness: Demonstrates awareness of audience engagement and needs
- Comfort Level: Appear comfortable with the audience
- Interest: Engages the audience with interesting, well-constructed content
- Pay close attention to any criticism or comments and don’t over-react
- Agree the next steps before you leave or if you get a buying signal (we explore buying signals HERE) ask for the business