I think it’s important to explain why I added “as Leave Behinds” in my title. There are two types of presentations: one conducted in person and the other one presented “virtually” via Skype, email, GoToMeeting.com, GoogleDocs, etc… I’m going to focus the latter as this seems to be how the majority of businesses are currently conducting their presentations. Here’s the main difference: “face to face” presentations are able to contain very few words and bullets per slide since the presenter is able to “talk at length” about any particular point or visual. However, when a person is sitting in front of their computer, it’s harder to switch between the reading/viewing the computer screen, dealing with the distractions of their natural surroundings and active listening (e.g. there’s an over stimulation which makes it harder to concentrate). Therefore, when presenting virtually, it’s more effective to have more written information than verbal. Additionally, after the virtual meeting is over, the presentation with all of the critical key information is present and the receiver doesn’t have to try and recall what was said.
The purpose of a sales presentation is to persuade a group of people to make a decision. Any information included must always support that goal. In order to persuade someone you need solid preparation, an effective argument, compelling supportive evidence and knowledge of the audience’s emotional triggers. You’re going to need to support each argument with real, verifiable data and describe to the customer…
- what you’re planning to do
- what tools you’re going to use
- why it’s going to work for them
- why it makes financial sense to buy now
Below are some guidelines, tips and strategies that will help you create presentations that are enticing, intriguing, exciting and persuasive.
Use a simple structure. Although somewhat of a “no-brainer”, here is the basic structure of a sales presentation:
- Introduction. Preview what you’re going to communicate.
- Body. The content you want to communicate, with supporting evidence.
- Conclusion. Summarizes what you just communicated.
- Close. Asks for the next step.
Know your audience. In order to create an engaging and effective presentation, you must know your audiences’ likes, dislikes, interests, expectations and background. With this information you can understand what will trigger their emotions and build a compelling argument that can address their need(s) such as personal/financial growth, effectiveness, competence, efficiency, health, time savings, etc…
Provide a series of claims or arguments. The main question you should be answering throughout the presentation is: Why should they buy your product and/or service? Some other questions they’ll want addressed are:
- Why is your product/service better than your competition’s? That is, what are your USP’s (unique selling propositions)? What makes you so great?
- Who are your clients (past and present) and what have you done for them?
- What is your methodology/process?
- Why is it important for them to buy now?
Diagrams, infographics and charts oh my! While you don’t want to overwhelm your audience by including too many of these, it is critical to have a least a few sprinkled in there to back up and support your argument. For the same reason, use reputable sources as well.
Current events and news stories. Having one of these in your presentation is worthwhile as it helps to illustrate that you’re current with the topic and keeps your presentation fresh and on trend…Just remember to update this portion roughly every couple of months!
Less is more. Too many words or bullets on one page is overwhelming and quite frankly boring. The words you do choose should be strong, decisive and committed.
Visually appealing. People are visual in nature and enjoy looking at colorful, interesting pictures and/or graphics. View every slide as an advertisement meant to capture the audience’s attention and “wow” them.
How to close? The last step is to briefly explain what the audience needs to do in order to reap the benefits of your product/service…They need a call to action button! Should they call you to schedule a follow up meeting with their boss? Will you call them? Are you going to offer a free demonstration and will call them to schedule? Will you send them a formal proposal or estimate? You get the picture. Just be absolutely certain that this is addressed in a clear and concise manner so there is no confusion on what their next step should be.
Hope this was helpful, if not give me a call…I’m always happy to help!
Danielle Foley, President ~ www.FoleyMarketingAdvisors.com ~ firstname.lastname@example.org ~ (973) 632-9170
*We’d like to thank Freedigitalphotos.net and “Iosphere” for the great graphic included in this blog post.