10 Quick Tips for a Winning Sales Presentation


Seinfeld and sales presentations

What does it take to deliver a winning sales presentation today? Whether it’s breaking the mold like groundbreaking TV series Seinfeld or Lost, or using new tools to increase interaction, you have to think differently today to keep busy audiences engaged and interested.  Here are 10 quick tips to start you on your way!

  1. Know the first line of your presentation.

    Nerves and last minute changes can easily throw you off track during your presentation. If you have your first line down cold you can start with confidence. Once you get that first line out your preparation will kick in and you’ll be in the flow.

  2. Keep it conversational.

    Even though you may be doing most of the talking, a sales presentation is not a completely one-sided exchange. Leave space for your prospect to respond both verbally and non-verbally. Keep your tone conversational, never lecturing or veering into “presenter mode.”

  3. Interact early.

    Having your prospect involved in your presentation increases his engagement, makes him more receptive to your message, and improves recall. But don’t wait until the end when it’s too late. Establish the rules early by creating some interaction – a question, a poll – in the first few minutes of your presentation.

  4. Ask “So what?” in your Sales Presentation

    Look at things from your prospect’s perspective. From the words you choose to the length of time you spend on any particular subject, put yourself in the shoes of your prospect and ask yourself: “So what? Why should I care about this?” If this answer is “I don’t know,” it shouldn’t be in your sales presentation at all.

  5. Address the elephant.

    If you know you’re going to encounter an obvious obstacle in your presentation – a prospect who prefers another vendor, a previous bad experience with your company — ignoring it is rarely a winning strategy. Acknowledge the elephant early on, through humor (carefully) or with a well-crafted story or analogy, and then move on.

  6. Don’t save the good stuff.

    The entertainment industry knows that you have to give your audience a taste of what they came to see early on in order to keep them engaged. Use that same mindset in your presentation and give your prospect something they came to see – a benefit, an insight, a discovery – before they’re tempted to take a commercial break.

  7. Use a great story.

    An analogy, a personal story, or a cast study are just a few types of stories you can use to help your prospect understand a complex process, recognize value, and make a lasting impression. By painting a picture in your prospect’s mind it makes it easier for them to recall your message.

  8. Introduce something unexpected.

    In a sea of familiarity, the unexpected stands out and demands attention. Groundbreaking shows like 24, Seinfeld, Lost, and the more recent, Making a Murderer not only get people watching, but they get them talking by changing our expectations. Unusual comparisons or contradictions can wake up your prospect and draw her in. It shows her that you are not just like everyone else and encourages her to pay attention.

  9. Rehearse like a pro.

    Most so-called “naturals” spend hundreds – even thousands – of hours perfecting their craft. Don’t be discouraged because you don’t nail it the first few times. Practice your presentation like the pros by recreating the actual presentation circumstances as much as possible. BTW, silently reading through what you are planning to say doesn’t count.

  10. Sell the next minute. 

    Presentations are a constant battle for attention.  Don’t assume you have it once and you’re set.  Just like your favorite newscast, think about how you’re going to encourage your prospect to “stay tuned” for the next minute of your presentation – one minute at a time.  This will force you to make the current minute as compelling as possible.

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Performance Sales and Training: Persuasive Presentation Skills to meet the challenges of today’s B2B Sales Environment