When you are giving a sales presentation to a potential client or an audience of potential clients, you have two goals:
- Make a sale.
- Give your audience something of value.
The trick is: How do you accomplish both at the same time? Here a few tips.
When salesmen have quotas, the customer’s needs can become lost in the push to make the sale. Remember door-to-door salesmen? They didn’t have PowerPoint presentations or big event halls with a stage to speak to their prospective clients. They honed a few basic skills that made the sale for them. As a business owner or a manager of a company, knowing the importance of new business, as well as the importance of client needs, can translate into better sales. You just need to use the right presentation formula.
Being prepared for anything (even big fat Nos) actually makes your job a lot smoother and simpler. Sometimes it isn’t what you know but how you convey what you know.
Building Your Presentation around Your Sales Pitch
If you want to make the sale, you need to catch the attention and the emotions of the customer from the first word, picture or slide.
Do your homework
The key to engaging a customer is to know who they are. What does she need that your product can provide? What are his immediate needs? Who else has the potential to meet those needs? It may not be appropriate to ask a potential client or customer these types questions. Therefore, you may have to do some digging on your own to get what you need.
Customer Research Tips:
- Peruse the client’s website for clues about where they are coming from.
- Have a simple pre-presentation survey that asks basic questions about what problems they are hoping to solve with your product.
- Research your clients industry. More than likely the problems others in their field are having will be the same as your potential clients’.
Know your product
What aspects of your product’s capabilities — benefits and features — speak to the needs of your client or customer? This is how you tailor a presentation to the specific need of each specific audience. Choose one feature that can solve the issue they are currently having and use that as the main topic of your presentation.
Be clear on the difference between benefits and features:
- A feature describes an aspect of a product: The pen is red. The program is available on DVD and streaming media.
- A benefit describes the value of those features: A red pen is easier to see and find than a black pen. Streaming media empowers your client to view the program on any device they choose, at any time.
- Dig deep. What is the benefit of the benefit?
Make the presentation about the customer
When you begin by discussing your company or product, the talk focuses on you. Instead, use words and imagery to show the benefits of the product to customers. It’s all about meeting their needs, not your revenue.
Customer Focus Tips:
- Use the language of your potential clients. This may be different than yours, so do your homework.
- Focus on benefits and features your clients actually care about. They may not be interested in everything you product has to offer, so don’t waste their time talking about things they don’t care about.
- Be willing to concede that your product is not a good fit. Keeping your clients needs above your revenue builds trust and can result in future sales either from this client or referrals from this potential client.
Tell a story
I hope its a no brainer that your story needs to be relevant to your topic, product, client and presentation. Relay a time when your product was used by a past customer to solve a similar problem, and the positive outcomes. Be sure your story whose addresses an outcome your current audience is looking for.
- Do you have personal experience with this product that will illustrate how it addresses a need your client has? Share it.
- Use case studies that share results other clients have achieved using your product. These case studies should be of clients in a similar industry solving a problem your potential client cares about.
- If your product is new and you don’t have personal stories or case studies yet, use statistics that illustrate how a solution like yours has worked for clients like them.
Listen to the customer
Ask questions and wait for the response. Show that you are listening. Move your presentation in a direction that highlights the needs expressed by their responses. Silence will often be your friend, allowing your audience the time they need to articulate their concerns, questions and needs.
- Body language: Face the person who is talking, and lean slightly toward them.Keep your posture open, with your arms at your sides. Relax — don’t fidget or pace.
- Clarify what they said: For example, say something like, “If I understand you correctly, you are having trouble converting website visitors into email subscribers. Is that correct?” Basically, repeat what they’ve said as you understand it in your own words, and ask if you understood correctly.
- Be patient: When you ask a question, close your mouth and wait. Give your client time to answer. Don’t be in a hurry to rush on to your next point.
Remember the call to action
The deal is not sealed until you tell the audience what you want them to do — and they do it. Some will say yes right away, while others will need more time. Create a follow-up strategy to keep them interested until they say yes.
Call to Action Tips:
- Ask for the sale with an assumption that you’ve made the sale. For example, “How would you like to pay for this?” or “How would you like me to send you the invoice?”
- Be specific about what you want your client to do. Don’t be vague, give them concrete terms.
- Use actionable direct language. Use active voice rather than passive voice.
On the part of the potential client, a good sales pitch instills confidence in your ability to meet their needs. And this confidence will lead to the sale.
Recommended Reading for Sales Presentations