All posts by Julie Hansen

5 Outside the Box Presentation Openings that Stand Out with Busy Buyers


Outside the box presentations

Like the first scene of a movie, the opening of your presentation should grab your audience’s attention, set the stage – and let them know they are in the right theater! Unfortunately the typical sales presentation opens with a boring company overview that does nothing to distinguish you in a competitive marketplace. Outside the Box presentation openings take into account what’s of most interest to your prospect.  And it’s very rarely how long you’ve been in business or how many markets you’re in!  It’s likely something much more personal and close to home, like “What do I need to do to drive customers in my door? How am I going to compete with the new guy on the block? Here are 5 Outside the Box presentation openings: Customer success story. Whose experience is more meaningful to a prospect?  Yours or that of a peer in their industry facing a similar Read More

Don’t get blind-sided! 5 common objections in your presentation you must prepare for


Blind sided

No matter how prepared you think you are for your presentation, objections can – and will – come up.  Perhaps you missed something in your discovery, the prospect’s circumstances have changed, or new people are involved.  While it’s impossible to prepare for every potential objection, the overwhelming majority of objections you will get during your presentation will fall into one of 5 common categories. Preparing for these 5 common objections in your presentation can keep you from being blind-sided and increase your success rate. 5 Common Objections in your presentation Price This common objection comes in a variety of forms: “You’re too expensive,” “We don’t have room in the budget,” or “Your competitor is cheaper.” Regardless of the packaging, this objection appears on the surface to be all about price. And if you’re competing on price, you have made yourself a commodity. The antidote to competing on price is establishing Read More

Does Your Presentation Have One of These Bad Movie Endings?


Have you ever sat through a good movie, only to leave disappointed or confused by a bad ending?  Like a movie, a presentation can build up a lot of good will, only to tear it all down in those final few moments.  Some endings seem to go on forever, Lord of the Rings style, or leave your audience with more questions than they started with (No Country for Old Men or Inception anyone?)  Whether they’re poorly constructed or executed, bad presentation endings leave a bad taste in the mouths of prospects and can undo all your hard work. Luckily, bad presentation endings – like bad movies – can be avoided. 4 Bad Presentations Endings Here are four bad  presentation endings  – movie style –  I see presenters making and how to make sure they don’t happen to you.  Note, movie SPOILERS ahead! 1.  The Never-ending Ending Example: Lord of the Read More

Demotainment is Not a Dirty Word! 5 Ways to Make your Demo More Entertaining


Demotainment

 I just sat through another deathly serious – and seriously boring – demo.  When I suggested some ways to make the demo more engaging for his audience, the salesperson bristled and replied, “I don’t believe in demotainment.” Demotainment, which Urban Dictionary defines as (duh) “the demonstration of a thing in an entertaining way,” has gotten a bad rap in the past.  Sure, some overzealous presenters have done everything but tap dance through their demo in an effort to stand out, or worse, mask their product’s deficiencies.  But the concept of demonstrating in an entertaining way shouldn’t be scratched entirely.  In fact, in a time where competition is fierce and capturing a prospect’s attention is more challenging than ever, entertainment can be a very effective tool. After all, consider what entertainment means: Entertainment, def: “To hold the attention of” Buyers are not the deadly serious lot some may imagine. They are Read More

3 Sales Tips from the Movies for Engaging Buyers


Batman

Holy Hollywood Batman! We lost another film icon this week – the first Batman, Adam West.  It got me thinking about the lasting power of the movies.  Even today, busy executives who can’t sit still for a ten minute meeting will carve out the time to watch a two-hour plus movie.  Movies have honed the secret to engaging audiences from years of practice and experimentation.  While your presentation doesn’t have to be worthy of an Oscar nod, it pays to leverage techniques and tips from the movies for engaging buyers and standing out from the competition. 3 Sales Tips from the Movies for Engaging Buyers in your Presentation: 1. Cut to the chase Movies don’t start with the director giving his resume or telling the audience what they’re going to be seeing, or why he made the movie. No! Movies are much more likely to start with a car chase, Read More

Are you making this mistake when using your iPad or tablet on sales calls?


A growing number of sales teams have put away brochures or laptops on sales calls in favor of iPads or tablets.  And with good reason. Used properly, mobile devices allow salespeople to be more responsive to customer’s interests, access information in real time, and encourage greater interaction. Unfortunately, there is very little information available to salespeople on how to incorporate their iPad or tablet on a sales call effectively.  Salespeople are often unaware that they are making mistakes that distract or confuse customers, and can even cost them the sale. One of the most common mistakes I see sales people making when using their iPads or tablets has to do with managing the customer’s attention. Many salespeople make excellent points that unfortunately, are falling on deaf ears.  Here’s why: The eyes have it It’s estimated that 80% of people are visual learners.  That means if you put content in front Read More

Start with Why – 3 “Why” Questions to Increase Your Presentation’s Success


If you’ve ever sat through a presentation and thought, “Why am I here?” you are not alone.  Most presentations fail to answer this most fundamental question until five, ten – even thirty minutes into the content. Presentations that do not quickly answer the question “Why?” are frustrating, confusing, and cause distraction-prone audiences to tune out.  In his popular TED Talk, Start with Why, Simon Sinek proposed that people won’t fully buy into a product, service or concept until they understand the “why.” Start with why is how all great presentations begin.  But… Starting with why is, well…just the start.  To really connect with today’s buyers and increase your presentation’s success, it’s important to know which “why” you are addressing in your presentation.  This isn’t as daunting as it seems.  The underlying “why” for most prospects typically boils down to one of the following: Start with Why : Why should I Read More

Think like a director: The secret to managing a conversational presentation


Director

A conversational presentation is a non-linear style of presenting in which you can move about in a more fluid way responding to prospect’s interests.  It’s a big – and often welcome – change from the old days of a sales person’s orderly and scripted descent through a slide deck. When done well, giving the customer a greater role in the presentation can create a more engaging, memorable event tailored to their interests.  So why do we need to think about managing the conversational presentation?  Because often the pendulum swings too far.  Giving the customer total control without exerting proper guidance leads to all kinds of problems:  The conversation veers off track leaving prospects confused.  You jump from topic to topic and never make a strong, cohesive point.  You run out of time and don’t accomplish what you set out to, which doesn’t benefit you or your prospect.  What’s the answer? Read More

All questions are not created equal. Winning strategies for handling questions in your presentation


Handling questions in your presentation

Questions are a sign of a healthy presentation. They typically indicate interest and create important opportunities to interact and gain insight into a prospect’s thinking.  Therefore, it’s not surprising that most salespeople have a knee-jerk reaction to answer every question on the spot. But does every question require – or deserve – an immediate or full blown answer?  What about questions that may take you deep into the weeds, eat up time, confuse or even alienate other audience members? Or questions from people with conflicting agendas or ulterior motives? These are the types of things that can quickly derail your presentation (and the deal!) Keeping an open dialogue with your audience is vital to a successful presentation today.  But you must balance that with the clock and your – and your prospect’s – objectives for the meeting. To be an effective salesperson, you must have a strategy for handling questions in Read More

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