You can’t ask for the order until you tell your story, clearly communicating your understanding of the client’s needs, the solutions you are offering, and why those solutions best address the client’s needs. And you must accomplish all of these things with the space, time slot and participants selected by the customer.
The highest-closing, most successful sales professionals have mastered ten highly effective sales presentation techniques.
These little-known, rarely discussed techniques can make a world of difference in your sales presentation:
1. Know your PAL
Before preparing any presentation for one person or thousand:
- Know your Purpose (inform, persuade, entertain)
- Know your Audience (demographics, attitudes, hot buttons)
- Know your Logistics (time allotment, number of people in the audience, time of day for presentation, room arrangements).
2, Pay attention to timing
A good strategy for a straight presentation is to plan, prepare and practice for 75% of the allotted time. If you end early, no one complains. Ending late is poor planning. If you expect audience involvement, plan on using 50% of the time for your planned presentation, and save 25% for interactive, facilitated sessions.
3. Remember that all presentation material is not created equal
When preparing your speech, consider the must-know, should-know and could-know. Limit material based on time or audience interest.
4. Hit the emotional buttons
These will create more impact and action than pure data. Include stories, analogies and metaphors to reinforce the key points.
5. Create user-friendly notes
As Winston Churchill said when he was asked why he carried notes but seldom used them, “I carry fire insurance, but I don’t expect my house to burn down.”
- Use bulleted points instead of sentences.
- Make the type easy to read. (Use a felt-tip pen or minimum 18-point type, boldface, if typed.)
- Use only the top two-thirds of the page to avoid looking down.
- Use highlight pens to indicate the must/should/could know information.
You should know your material well enough to not follow along with your notes. But a quick glance now and then will ensure you don’t forget any important points, especially those of particular interest to the decision makers
6. Practice out loud, saying it differently each time you say it
Peter Drucker says, “Spontaneity is an infinite number of rehearsed possibilities.” Doesn’t Tiger Woods still practice?
7. Don’t let stage fright kill your momentum
Stage fright is a negative term for excitement
No coach tells the team to be calm. Channel the adrenaline into enthusiasm. You can control the physical symptoms of stage fright by breathing from the diaphragm, using positive visualization and self-talk, and by being prepared and practiced.
8. Deliver with passion
It’s amazing how catchy enthusiasm is. If your voice is expressive and your gestures animated, you will appear to be confident and passionate.
9. Plan for successful Q&A
The question-and-answer part of the presentation may be more important than the actual presentation.
Think ahead to all possible questions that might be asked — particularly the ones that might throw you. Remember to paraphrase the questions before answering them and take into account the motivation of the questioner.
When answering the questions:
- Look at all audience members — they may have had the same question.
- Avoid complimenting some questions and not others.
- Treat all questions and questioners with respect.
If you don’t have a good answer to a question, don’t fake it; treat this as an opportunity. Say you will get that information for the questioner and then schedule a follow-up time to get back with your response.
10. Remember, speaking is an audience-centered sport
Avoid speaking out of ego, appearing too cocky or being unprepared. As long as you stay focused on the audience – in preparation, delivery and during the Q and A – you should be successful as a presenter.