Category Archives: Sales Presentations
One tool often used in making a sales pitch, especially in finals presentations, is a PowerPoint slide deck.
Over the years, PowerPoint has risen to become the standard, but with overuse and misuse, it has the potential to sabotage the presentation.
Here are six tips and cautions when considering the use of PowerPoint in a sales pitch to reinforce your message, and your image, in a positive way.
Visibility is essential. If you use slides, make sure they can be seen by everybody in the meeting. Not only do audience members need clear sight lines to the screen, but the wording needs to be legible. This means care and attention must be paid to type size, font, and color. If your slide is too busy, or the writing too small, break the content into two or more sides.
Be better than the PowerPoint in a Sales Pitch. If the person using PowerPoint is not a good presenter, the slide deck adds nothing. Good slides don’t make up for lackluster performance. PowerPoint is intended to support and enhance, not carry the full weight of the presentation.
Don’t read to the audience. This builds on Tip #2. The presenter should add context and perspective to the few words on the slide. Reading the slides takes energy out of the presentation. Let the audience read on its own, and use your tone, inflection, and enthusiasm to add meaning and » Continue Reading.
Many large, complex sales require sales professionals to approach pitching as a team. Often, there is strength in numbers, but preparation and logistics become even more critical in order to show a unified front to the customer.
Preparation for Pitching as a Team
An important consideration is choosing who will handle the opening. The person opening has to be skilled in making an impact, commanding attention, and establishing an immediate hook. Typically, he/she will give opening remarks, a rundown of the agenda, introduce team members, and handle transitions.
It is vital to prepare specific roles and content for each member of the team. Every person should know what they’re going to say, and they should convey the value they bring to the table. Even though everyone has their own expertise, all must be aligned behind the same clear message during the sales pitch.
To anticipate and prepare for possible questions and objections, it helps for the team to brainstorm beforehand. What might be an issue? How will the team handle it? Who, specifically, will address questions in which areas? Each presenter should know which part of the overall story he/she is responsible for, along with how his/her content dovetails with what the other presenters are saying.
Whether or not each person stands up to make his/her presentation depends on the circumstances. Sometimes, it’s natural to stand, even if everyone else is seated. Standing commands » Continue Reading.
Improve Your Next Sales Call
Many people use slides in their client presentations but few use them effectively. Slides should be a tool to support your message — not a crutch to help you get through the talk. Anything you put up on the screen should be there to back up what you’re saying so that the dialogue continues and doesn’t go off track.
It’s important at the beginning of any sales presentation to put your remarks into context. Typically, your audience will want to know two things: 1) Who are you? and 2) Why are we here? So, you need to communicate these two points briefly, and then ask their permission to continue on the agenda that you’ve just laid out.
You also need to ask for input periodically, checking to make sure everyone’s questions and desired outcomes are being addressed. Even though you are the one making the presentation, no meeting should ever be a monologue. Whether you’re meeting with one person or a group, every interaction should be a dialogue.
To make sure it’s an effective dialogue, you have to know your audience. The conversation and sales presentation will differ depending on the level of people you’re meeting with because they care about different things. Front-line managers tend to focus on the day-to-day operations because that’s where they make their contribution. Senior executives take a broader perspective, considering how different functions can impact key areas » Continue Reading.
Preparation is a no-brainer when thinking about ways to improve the progress and outcome of sales calls. But, just saying preparation is important does little to make it happen. It helps to address the many ways salespeople can prepare effectively.
It’s important to familiarize yourself with the client’s industry and then, specifically, with the company you’re targeting. Have they been engaged with mergers and acquisitions as a growth strategy? Do they have new leadership? Have they changed strategy recently?
If the answer is “yes” to any of these scenarios, you can expect that people throughout the organization, from leaders to individual contributors, will need to begin to do things a little differently. So, for Richardson, in the area of sales training and effectiveness solutions, you can begin to drill down into whether they have the skills and abilities needed to align themselves with achieving the new goals and objectives.
This approach is not specific to the training industry. The same kind of preparation is necessary in any industry so that salespeople can demonstrate their understanding of the business in customer dialogues.
Among the tools I use to dig into the information I’m searching for are websites, such as Hoovers.com or the company’s own site. Search engines help me find information on specific terms, people, and companies. Also, LinkedIn is always a good resource to find out about the people attending my next meeting.
Another tool full of useful information » Continue Reading.
The Ultimate Checklist for Mission Critical Group Sales Presentations
“Mission critical” is a term that you see in many different activities, up to and including military operations. When mission critical aspects do not go well, barring an extraordinary piece of luck, the mission fails. If your group sales presentation does not go well, barring an extraordinary piece of luck, your sales effort will fail and you will not get the contract.
How to Amp Up Your Presence in Must-win Sales Presentations
What is it that causes a group of clients to respond to one salesperson’s sales presentation and reject another’s? With similar solutions, and not always significant price differences, something else makes the difference. The difference is the way solutions are presented to potential buyers.
Understanding Group Dynamics to Prevent a Sales Presentation Nightmare
A group of people is more than just many single persons. You have to be aware of this basic reality. Group dynamics can be quite complex. Look at set theory, studying the characteristics and interrelationships of groups. I am sure you remember this from basic math class. When you are talking with one person, you either convince the person or do not. When talking with as few as two people, you can convince them both, neither, or either one. One of them can convince the other to support you or to oppose you. The more people, the more complicated things can get. The combinations, and complications, grow geometrically (1, 2, 4, 16) rather than arithmetically (1, 2, 3, 4). Group dynamics can affect the behavior of crowds for good or for bad. People influence each other.
Don’t Let Your Written Proposal Torpedo Your Deal
What I am about to say may be an example of life being unfair. Obviously, a poorly prepared written proposal could cost you a deal. However, the most expertly prepared, well-written, catchy-reading proposal brings no guarantee of winning. To make things worse yet, an overly slick proposal might be a turn off.
Let me give an example of the third possibility, because I know that calling something “too good” sounds illogical. Take, for example, the redevelopment of a low-income housing project. Residents of the project will be represented on the committee making project decisions. Is an expensively produced proposal likely to impress them? Or, will it more likely send a message that you can’t related to them? Someone who kept in mind the human element could be more likely to win.