It’s 2018, and by rough count, I’ve sat through a thousand sales presentations. Most of them have blurred together in my mind. What stands out? The exceptionally good ones…or the cringingly bad ones. Your prospect may not have seen quite as many as me, but they likely struggle to recall most of them as well. Why does this matter? Boring, forgettable presentations are unsuccessful presentations. Why are today’s presentations so forgettable? In a day and age where we know so much about our prospects, from their interests and dislikes, to their challenges and goals, it seems surprising that most presentations are still so ineffective. Part of the problem is that most salespeople today are still following a presentation structure that has been around since the seventies (even though many of today’s prospects were not even alive in the seventies!) This dated, ineffective structure includes too many elements that are unnecessary, Read More
I love snack size foods. They’re cute, they’re portable, and they create the illusion that I’m eating lighter. I say “illusion,” because I usually end up eating more than the equivalent of a full-size portion – especially if it’s a candy bar! Snack size foods have exploded in the last five years for those very same reasons. Smaller packaging gives customers a relatively low-risk way to sample a product — without making a full investment in money, time or calories. In a selling environment where customers show an ever-increasing reluctance to invest their time and energy to sitting through – or sifting through – long presentations or product demos, it’s time to think about going snack-size as well. Customer’s Love Affair with Snack Size Content The majority of people consume content today in snack size portions. We get our news and entertainment on demand, read or watch only so long Read More
Imagine being wrongly accused of a crime and having to present your case to a jury. You’d want to use every possible advantage to win them over, right? When the stakes are high, good trial lawyers know a few secrets to a successful presentation – how to quickly establish credibility, present a strong, persuasive case, and win over skeptical jurors. While you’re not technically on trial in sales, you also need to win over often skeptical buyers. And a dry run through of the facts is not going to cut it. Being able to present a strong, persuasive case is a critical skill for salespeople today in an increasingly competitive market where buyers are reluctant to change. Fortunately, trial lawyers have a few secrets up their sleeves for a successful presentation that we can apply in sales to improve our results. Trial Lawyers’ Secrets to a Successful Presentation 1. Make Read More
If you deliver your presentation the same way to each of your customers, you are leaving money on the table. Think back to your last three customers. One may have been talkative and forthcoming, while the other was quiet and guarded. Perhaps one of your customers lit up when you were talking about the big picture while another only showed interest when you got to the numbers. Even customers in similar industries or roles can have dramatically different personalities. And these Buyer Styles – and how you react to them – can determine whether your meeting is successful or not. Adjusting your presentation strategy to buyer styles doesn’t have to be as daunting as it sounds. Once you learn how to identify specific personality traits and understand what adjustments you need to make in the way you present, you will have a distinct advantage over your competition. Below are 4 Read More
If your prospect had a remote, would he be tempted to change the channel on your presentation or demo? That’s a tough question to ask yourself, but given the number of choices today’s buyers have and the demands on their attention, you need to take a hard look at just how compelling your presentation or demo is to your audience.
The bar has been raised. And if you haven’t raised your presentation game with it, you’re going to get left behind. We live in a time where most people have been exposed to hundreds, maybe thousands of presentations. Showing up and walking through a slide deck and parading our your features and benefits like salespeople have been doing for decades, is not going to help you win deals.
Today’s presentations have to be better than average, they have to be compelling in order to break through the clutter, stand out from the competition, and move buyers to the next step in the sales cycle. And by compelling I’m not talking about slides, or templates or platforms, but rather great substance, structure and delivery. The elements that make your prospect say, “Wow, they really understand us.” And that, my sales friends, is compelling.
If you’re uncertain whether your presentation is compelling or not, shoot me an email and let’s talk. Don’t wait to find out until your prospect changes the channel from you…to your competition.
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
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
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
What comes to mind when you hear the word, presentation? A salesperson holding court in front of a group with a slide deck while the audience silently listens. This formal monologue is simply one type of presentation style in a broad spectrum of ways to communicate with potential customers. In fact, it’s a style that is waning in popularity and effectiveness (for reasons you can read more about here.) So what is in style? Say “hello” to the conversational presentation. The majority of reps today are in front of customers in less formal circumstances, whether it’s a doctor’s office or waiting room, across the table from a prospect, or via webcam. You may prefer to call these more informal customer facing events conversations. And conversations are great. They are typically a two-way exchange and more fluid than a linear presentation. However, you still must be prepared to talk about a Read More
The stars, the clothes, the mix-ups! But underneath it all, the Oscars are really a collection of short presentations delivered to an audience with short attention spans and high expectations. If that sounds like a business presentation to you, it should! Each year I like to highlight the Oscars best and worst presentations and glean what we can learn from them as business presenters. Here are my top awards from this year show. See if you agree. The Oscars Best and Worst Presentations …and what you can learn from them Best Disaster Recovery: Jordan Horowitz, LaLa Land Calling out LaLa Land as the winner for Best Picture was clearly an unprecedented Oscar disaster. But let’s look at the bright side. After discovering that Moonlight was the actual winner, producer Jordan Horowitz had the soundness of mind to succinctly announce the mistake and graciously relinquish the stage to the cast and crew of Moonlight. “I’m going to be really Read More