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Sales Strategy
Jan 16, 2018 | Canadian Professional Sales Association lock

So, you’ve spent weeks researching, qualifying, tracking down and wooing your hot prospect. You’ve finally got them in the room, ready to be wowed... it’s a lot of pressure, right? Your sales presentation is a significant part of the sales process; much of your success will be down to how well you perform in that room. But don’t fear! We’ve put together a list of top tips and recommendations to help you ensure each presentation you give is your absolute best.

1. Tailor your Sales Presentation to your Prospect - if you’re still using canned presentations, PLEASE STOP NOW! Sure you can have a template that you use and adapt, but it’s important that each presentation is tailored to the specific needs and tastes of the client in front of you. See our tips on personalising presentations.

2. Focus on the Solution NOT your Product - Once you’ve worked out the client’s business pain, you need to make this (and how your product can help) the focus of your presentation. If your sales presentation is too focused on your company and your product, you need to switch things up to put the impetus back on them.

3. Say Bye-Bye to Boring PowerPoint - Visuals are important and you want to make sure your presentation is visually stunning and modern. Okay, so you don’t have to ditch PowerPoint completely to do this, but there are so many great tools on the market today that it’s worth taking a look around. Check out tools like Slidebean which turns your pitch into a beautiful presentation without the need for any graphic design or creative skills.

4. Be Clear and Upfront About the Bottomline - Your clients are not fools, they know this is a sales pitch and your product is going to cost them money. They are likely to be thinking about this throughout your presentation so don’t be mysterious about pricing - it’s annoying and frustrating. Be upfront about costs and then use your sales presentation to build a business case about why this is a worthwhile investment for them.

5. Be a Storyteller - Storytelling is a powerful way to engage your audience and help them visualise the solution you are putting forward. Open with a relevant personal anecdote to build rapport or paint a picture of a happy customer who was once going through the same business pain as they are. When you’re telling the story, stick to images on your slide deck with few words. You want them to be able to focus on the story and picture themselves in the situation.

6. Make it Interactive - A presentation needn’t be a straight-up performance; in fact, it’s more engaging to get your audience involved by asking questions. It’s likely that you’ll have no more than ten people in the room with you, probably an even smaller number. So use this time to continue to explore their need and relationship build. You can also use questioning as a barometer to see if what you are saying is actually resonating. This gives you an opportunity to seize on things that catch their interest or change tact if one approach isn’t working. You can even start things off by asking your audience what THEY want to hear from you so that you make them partners in the process and cover all the points that are important to them.

7. Shorter Is Better - We’ve all sat through enough presentations in our lives to know that someone talking at you for a long time is no fun; even if you are pretty interested in the content of what they are saying.  With that in mind, aim to keep the you talking part of your presentation between 5 and 10 minutes with lots of questioning and interaction along the way. With each slide you add, ask yourself, how does this show my product or service’s value in relation to their problem? If it doesn’t, take it out. As a rule of thumb, ten slides is a good number.

8. Practice Makes Perfect - So often how you say something is actually more important than what you are saying. With that in mind, don’t let all the hard work you’ve put into crafting a great presentation go to waste by being unpractised on the day. Take the time to actually rehearse the presentation, focusing on your pace, pitch and body language - in front of a mirror if you can. These are all things that can lead an audience to love or loathe you as a presenter and are a big part of the impact you’ll leave behind.

9. Leave a Lasting Impression - The way you finish your presentation is important, even if you have a 20-minute meeting that will follow. You want the way your presentation ends to impactfully show the unique value proposition of your product or service. If you can come up with an out of the box idea, then great! But if not, simply ending on how your product will provide their company with great, enduring value is still great.

10. Schedule Next Steps Then & There - We all know how difficult it is to actually get face time with a client so do whatever you can to schedule a follow-up meeting then and there to go through your cost proposal. Additionally, have a reason to get everyone’s contact details, for example, so you can send over a more in-depth answer to a question that arose or a customer testimonial. Keep in mind that though it’s disheartening, if they won’t agree to a meeting when you’re in front of them, it’s a pretty good indication that they’re not really interested in taking things further, so why should you waste your precious time?

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