Tips and Techniques for Sales Presentations

by ltconsulting on September 29, 2011

Our presentation courses are planned to significantly improve presentation skills to allow delegates of all levels to be able to make powerful presentations.  The presentation seminars that we provide are packed full of presentation tips and techniques that demonstrate strategies which will show delegates how to reduce nerves in presentations and to allow them to present confidently when presenting to clients or colleagues. Our presentation skills workshops are designed not just to show delegates how to make a simple presentation: they are designed to show delegates how to create a successful presentation also maximising the applications of PowerPoint to make great presentationsPresentation training will allow delegates to build on their presenting skills; make better presentations; enjoy making presentations and teach delegates how to present successfully.  Delegates who have taken our Presentation Courses have expressed how much they enjoyed the variety in our presentation skills training and now feel confident to present in any situation.

SALES PRESENTATION TIPS AND TECHNIQUES

Presentations have a way of leaving a legacy long after your presentation has ended. Even if the prospect doesn’t buy from you right now, a high quality presentation will definitely be remembered in a positive light. This might mean referral business later, also the quality of your presentation will impact how your boss and any other colleagues view you and your abilities. This may affect future assignments of your choice and even your promotion prospects.

1. Make the presentation relevant to your prospect. One of the most common mistakes people make when discussing their product or service is to use a generic presentation. They say the same thing in every presentation and hope that something in their presentation will appeal to the prospective customer. The discussion of your product or service must be adapted to each person; modify it to include specific points that are unique to that particular customer. If you use PowerPoint, place the company’s logo on your slides and describe how the key slides relate to their situation. Show exactly how your product or service solves their specific problem. This means that it is critical to ask your prospect probing questions before you start talking about your company.

2. Create a connection between your product/service and the prospect. In a presentation to a prospective client, try to prepare a sample of the product they would eventually use. After a preliminary discussion, hand your prospect the item they will be using – instead of telling them about the item, place it in their hands to see exactly what the finished product looks like and so they are able to examine it in detail. They are then able to ask questions to see how their organisation would use it in their environment. Also, remember to discuss the benefits of your products, not the features. Tell your customer what they will get by using your product versus your competitors.

3. Get to the point. Today’s business people are far too busy to listen to long-winded discussions. Know what your key points are and learn how to make them quickly. Don’t bore your customers with irrelevant details. Make sure you know what key points you want to discuss and practice verbalising them before you meet with your prospect.

4. Be animated. The majority of sales presentations are boring and unimaginative. If you really want to stand out from the crowd make sure you demonstrate enthusiasm and energy. Use your voice more effectively and vary your intonation. A common mistake made when people talk about a product with which they are very familiar is to speak in a monotone voice. This causes the other person to quickly lose interest in your presentation. Record your presentation. This will allow you to hear exactly what you sound like as you discuss your product.

5. Use a physical demonstration. A great technique is to use the whiteboard or flipchart in the prospect’s boardroom during the presentation. Instead of telling the client what you can do, stand up and deliver a short presentation using the whiteboard or flipchart in the prospect’s boardroom. This unusual approach never fails to create impact with the customer but ensure that your writing is clear and legible and that you draw pictures and illustrations that can impress the client with their level of proficiency.

6. Develop a Framework. Just as writers develop an outline for an article, story or book, it is critical for you to develop a framework. This framework relates to the sections that you will be presenting to your prospect. The following framework works well if you have about 45 minutes to present. You can reduce or increase the amount of time around each section, but spend most of the total time talking and asking questions about them and getting them to tell you what is important to their organisation. We are assuming, in this model, that you know something about your prospect already:

Introduction about your organisation: 5 minutes

About the prospect (talk and ask questions): 10-15 minutes

Optional special segment: 5 minutes

Assurance (product features and benefits/past performance): 10-15 minutes

Summary: 3-5 minutes

Whatever you wish to say to the customer, the only thing that is going to ultimately matter in your presentation is how your products or services are of value to them. Sales presentations are more powerful if you follow a framework.

The first section is the introduction. Start by introducing yourself and anyone else in the room from your organisation. This is a key part of relationship building, because it will be the solid relationships that get the product or service to your prospect, and provide for repeat business. Next, you need to talk about your products/services and how they are of direct benefit to the prospect. This will get their attention right away.

When you have simple messages that are meaningful to your prospects, they “get through” the distractions and are easily remembered. And if you weave them through your programme so that they can be repeated appropriately, your prospect will be more inclined to take positive action. Simple messages are the most powerful.

Remember It’s All About Them

Now that you have successfully planted your key messages, you need to make sure they pass the value check. Many organisations get confused between features and benefits. A computer software company that has knowledgeable technical staff is definitely not a benefit. This is a feature. The benefit, or more appropriately the value to your prospect is their software will have the maximum “on” or up time to benefit your prospect’s operations.

Assurance

Now that you’ve made your value known, how does your prospect know that your product will deliver the claims you are making? One factor of assurance is compatibility. On a recent prospect appointment, I met with a director from a leading architectural firm. She asked if we had worked with any other similar companies in the past improving the presentation skills of their directors.

While it might have been helpful to show a portfolio of work from the construction industry, what she really wanted was the assurance that we were capable and competent to do the work with excellent results. This means being familiar with the type of people in her industry, their jargon and corporate language.

I mentioned my work with executives in the building consultancy field and went on to say it is more important to bring diverse ideas from outside of the industry. New ideas allow for innovative thinking and improved results. However, if you do have specific industry experience, then it is appropriate to bring it up in this section, too.

Weave Your Messages

As you develop your presentation, keep coming up with ways to weave your key messages into the presentation. If you are planning on assigning a project manager to your prospect, then one of your key themes for the presentation might be “great relationships.”

You could introduce the concept by introducing the key people to the project and then tell a story around the value your organisation places on relationships. Since you know your prospect, you would want to show how they value great relationships, too. In the assurance section, you would make reference to other clients where great relationships were critical to the success of your joint operation.

Do you see how the appropriate placement of your key messages helps to control what your prospect is going to remember? Another great way to do this is to tell a story that directly relates to your message of “great relationships.”

Create a Powerful Close

It’s surprising how much time individuals spend on crafting the beginning of their presentations only to leave the last moments of your pitch that your prospect will hear totally to chance. Audiences remember most the beginning and end of a presentation, so it’s important to spend sufficient time to create a powerful ending that relates to your prospect and leaves them with a clear and positive impression.

Excellent presentation skills give you a platform to demonstrate your sales skills, leadership qualities, communication skills, influencing abilities and promotion potential. Our objective over the two days is to teach you the skills and techniques that will give you both the confidence and competence to enjoy making presentations in all situations. We will be giving action points to sharpen your image; reduce nerves; allow you to appear both confident and competent and increase your credibility in the eyes of colleagues and clients.

PowerPoint presentation skills, Advanced Presentation skills and Presentation skills are three of the courses trained by Total Success Training, a training consultancy specialising in communication training and management skills in London and throughout the UK. Other related courses include sales presentation skills, training the trainer, assertiveness skills, selling skills, negotiation skills and communication skills for managers. Click here if you need more information regarding presentation skills course information or contact Total Success who will be delighted to talk to you via e-mail.

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