Are You Wowing Prospects with your Sales Presentation?
by Jeff Andrews, VP Client Services
We all know that there’s no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all sales presentation that will have prospects stuffing your inbox or signing on the dotted line before you leave the meeting. But there are things you can do to engage your audience during your limited time together. Cliché, yes, but it holds true that you only have one chance to make a great first impression.
One other thought before outlining some ideas about the sales presentation. Just like job hunting in today’s market, most prospects are looking to see if your organization is a group they can work with; i.e. do they like you? There are many, many companies that offer the same products and services you offer. The prospect knows that your two teams will be spending a lot of hours together and they want to know if there’s a good personality fit and a long-term partnership in the making.
On to the sales presentation:
Bring Energy and Enthusiasm: You have your face-to-face opportunity with the prospect so now is your time to shine. Show professional enthusiasm…you’re glad to be there, aren’t you? Show personal enthusiasm – tone and body language both count – about the materials you’re about to present. If you aren’t excited about your company and your capabilities, why should your prospect be excited? Research shows that 70% of the buying decision is made before a prospect picks up the phone so they have some level of confidence in your company or you wouldn’t be having the meeting in the first place. It’s up to you to spin that last 30% of the decision in your direction.
Ask Questions: You’d certainly question your doctor if he quickly prescribed the latest cholesterol med before you had a chance to explain it’s that rotator cuff injury from high school that’s flaring up. Why would you assume to know your prospect’s pain points before they’ve had a chance to share their reason for meeting with you in the first place? Take your time, ask questions and listen to what they have to say.
Be the Answer to the Question: Prospects want to know you can solve their issues and they want measurable proof. But what tool you use to get there isn’t always their first concern. Consider these scenarios: Something is making an awful grinding noise under the hood of your car or your refrigerator just piddled across your hardwood floor. Do you care that your mechanic has the latest MaxiSYS 5500 or the appliance guy has the GenTen Scanner when your icemaker is back to making ice? If you’ve been listening closely to the prospect’s issues, you should be able to detail how your organization has solved similar needs for your customers.
Leave the Presentation ‘Club’ Behind: Just a few thoughts about your sales presentation materials – likely the dreaded PowerPoint. You should can that 100-slide pitch unless you brought Starbucks for the entire room. That said, just how many slides should be in your presentation? There are multiple schools of thought on that. One of the most common is the 10/20/30 formula – 10 slides for a 20-minute presentation with 30-point type. That breaks down to two minutes per slide. Thirty slides for an hour presentation sounds reasonable but let’s back up for just a second. Are you going to give the prospect time to talk? How about sticking with 30 to 40 minutes and let the prospect know that you’ve allowed time for Q&A at the end. Again, the more you listen, the more you’ll know the prospect’s hot buttons.
If you decide to forego the formula, make sure:
- your information is clear and concise
- you don’t overpopulate slides – more slides are better than jammed pages with small, hard to read type, tiny charts and images
- you practice the presentation and adjust the slide count to meet your time allocation
Food for thought…there are stories of multi-million dollar deals being inked after a five-slide presentation. Yes, less can be more.
Join us next week for more helpful tips on how to give great sales presentations and win over prospects.