Sales presentations are your way to convince clients of their need, to show them that choosing your company is the best solution and to get you one step closer to an actual sale by the end of your meeting. But for your clients the best sales meetings feel like a two-way discussion, a storytelling where they feel they should take an action . Setting up this type of effective presentation document isn’t a one-step process and to do’s can easily start spinning in your mind preventing from moving forward. We believe that helping people achieve results is all about breaking down the goals into action-oriented steps and to help achieve those steps by giving clear processes and tools. This article will become your guideline if you want to evaluate your sales presentation or even set up brand new one.
You should start every presentation or meeting by doing your due-diligence: getting to know the company, its needs and the people present in the meeting. What is their current knowledge of your company and solutions, what is their attitude towards you? And, since decisions are focused on people’s emotions, check the stakeholders’ backgrounds and get to know their decision-style if possible. It all sounds obvious, but once you have done this, you have to transfer the information gathered into knowledge. Knowledge to better select your storyline, content, meeting style, performed in the following steps.
You know your audience and its company? Good! People are more easily persuaded when they like the person in front of them and feel they have something in common. So start by quickly introducing yourself and establish your expertise but also likability. Think previous job situations, education, interests, etc.
Then, introduce your sales meeting with an interesting story that links your solutions to their needs. Intrigue them, make them interested. Tell for example how yourself or previous clients had the same issue as they do and how your solutions solved the issue. Stories are important because people always have an emotional aspect when it comes to making decisions. Stories create an emotion, a feeling showing what worked for others, will also work for them. By giving concrete story examples, you will reach a totally new level of persuading, more effective than communicating data leading to an “I agree” or “I disagree” situation.
Once you have shown that today’s meeting has something in it for them, get them interested and excited about your meeting by revealing your big idea. “If today you are at A, we will offer you something to get to end state B, a state where you will save money, gain clients, become more productive, etc.” The revealing statement gives a sneak peek of what’s coming, without going into detail. This statement should be your meeting competitive advantage, where you explain on a high-level they need you, only you, to go forward.
Once you have set your ideal end state B, the Unpacking step is where you get into your main content, subject by subject. You should see your main content as building a wall of evidence. The wall corner stones are couple of main messages you want clients to remember at the end of your presentation. Also, thanks to your due diligence you know how your audience’s attitudes and can predict resistance to some elements, make sure your wall is bigger and better with evidence to convince them at those spots.
Each meeting should have an actionable outcome, whether it’s about asking clients to study the information communicated, or make a decision right away. The type of action depends on your situation, don’t force a client into making a decision right-away, in some cases it can take several meetings. In some situations things don’t go as planned, so be prepared with a backup ending. In all cases, be clear on target dates and who does what and do not forget to clearly communicate this. What might be straightforward to you, maybe isn’t to your client. Moreover, re-contacting clients because you forgot to ask something isn’t professional.
Last but not least, don’t hear what a client says, but listen to them. Actively and intentionally hear what they want to ask and act upon it. Best is to proactively think those moments where questions could be asked, so you are prepared and have the needed backup to show if necessary. Don’t forget, the best sales presentations are seen as a two-way discussion. Once you really get into dialogue, you can observe negative opinions and deal with them straight away. So no bad surprises or unexpected outcomes.
In conclusion, research up-front and create a storytelling dialogue
Start by doing your due diligence and prepare effectively for a meeting. Use a storytelling approach to connect to your audience create an emotional, aspiring aspect to your meeting. Reveal your big idea and how it will help change your client’s life. Then, dig into the main content of your presentation, building a wall of evidence, with a few key messages as corner stones. End your meeting with a discussion on actions required and have a backup ending if needed. Throughout your meeting (and before) try to really listen to what clients say to make them feel they are heard and avoid surprises.
At CVC we have chosen to make business presentations our core… or well maybe they chose us. It has become a calling, a passion to transform people’s knowledge and attitude towards them. That’s why we created the CVC Approach, a three-step approach focused on industry’s best practices, expertise that helps create the real results companies want and create an excellent return on investment. Whether it’s about training people or helping set up your next sales pitch. Check out our services or contact us with questions on how we can help.