We do sales presentations each day. We are constantly trying to convince someone else to take action.
In business, a sales presentation is used to present a solution (product or service) that will change the status quo of the prospect towards a better future for them. While focusing on your prospects’ needs you must also inform, educate and inspire them to learn more about your proposal.
Avoid being that rude and annoying car salesman that only cares about selling the car. Instead try to really help your prospect with the product/service you present and show genuine concern about their current situation.
We included in this article some tips that will help you master a sales presentation.
Sales Presentation Dos
1. Make it relevant for the audience (don’t be generic)
You are not the first sales person your audience has seen, nor the last. They are decision makers and you want to convince them to buy your solution, so you need to put a little more energy and attention in this presentation.
People are busy, know your key points and present them. There is no time for generalities or common facts, what makes your product/service better? Why did they accept a meeting with you?
Know who you are meeting with: are they decision makers or end users? Based on their position in the company you need to adapt your presentation. An end user will be more interested on how your product is making his job easier, while a manager will want to know how it helps the business, its main KPIs and bottom line.
2. Believe in your solution
Your personal drive and your passion for the product/service convinces people. There are rare occasions when there is no other product like yours, but most of the time it’s the salesperson convincing power that closes the deal.
Let the audience see the spark in your eyes and hear the enthusiasm in your voice. If you are not there for it, don’t expect them to believe you.
Your prospect is the leading star of the presentation and your solution is his sword and shield.
3. Create a natural flow of the presentation
We know that sales presentations might be predictable, some slides are mandatory to have, but we encourage you to strive for an unique presentation. Create a journey for your audience and lead them to your product/service. As every journey there are peaks along the way to keep their attention and engage them.
There is no perfect flow, there are a lot of recommendations, but find a flow that suits your presentation style and that also favour your product.
After researching some of the best sales presentations and designing a few ourselves these are the 10 slides you should have in your sales presentation.
4. Use visual graphics
Visual graphics help you highlight your message, as they are more effective than words and easier to understand by the audience. Well prepared graphics will keep your audience’s attention and engage them.
Especially in sales presentation, a visual representation of data has a much bigger impact and can transmit your point in one slide. Market shares, prognosis, statistics and revenue are perfect examples.
A good looking presentation will keep your audience on the hook from the beginning. Strong and impactful images will help you strengthen your words. Make sure the entire design of the presentation is representative and appealing.
5. Provide research
This is common knowledge, but we repeat it as it is very important. Your product is the solution of a problem you found in your prospect’s company, or in the market.
How did you find that problem? What supports your words? Why is your product needed?
Why is your product needed now? What are the shortcomings of current solutions?
6. Use customer stories
Stories are the most powerful tool in a presentation. People believe in real stories, they relate with others who have been through the same situation as they are. In this case successful ones do the job.
Do this by telling the before and after customer story. It’s a strategy that gets your audience attention and lets them put themselves in that situation.
7. Include specific success metrics
Find a balance between the emotional and the rational side of the audience. Include metrics from previous collaborations as you tell the story, but too much hard data can trigger only the rational side and make your audience too serious.
8. Transition from the status quo
Robert McKee writes, “What attracts human attention is change.”
Your audience needs to see a change that is bigger than their company because it positions your offering as inevitable. This is the direction the world is moving and make it clear that they should not be left behind.
Sales Presentation Don’ts
9. Don’t write it all
You will see this don’t on all presentations, not only sales presentations. It is a basic rule – don’t write everything you want to say on the slides. If your audience can read faster than you speak (which most people can do), then there is no mystery left and they will get bored.
The presentation is your visual support, so use it as a guideline.
10. Don’t Use technical jargon
On rare occasions there is an expert in the field in the audience, but the rest of them are CEOs, directors, managers that are more interested in the business side of your solution.
So avoid using too many technical terms or industry buzzwords. A certain amount of technicalities is required to explain your product/service, but don’t go over your prospect’s head.
11. Don’t Use cliches and overused expressions
This is not the first presentation you make and for sure it’s not the first your audience sees. Create a custom presentation for your prospect, integrate their pain in it. Don’t go with the same presentation to all your prospects.
Prepare your speech beforehand, go through everything you are gonna say and think it twice. You risk losing credibility if they hear phrases like “nobody can beat our service”, “we are the best”, “I’ll be honest with you” ( may get prospects thinking that you were not honest before ).
12. Don’t Talk about ROI
You may think that using ROI will impress your prospects, but in fact using it during the sales process makes your chances to close the deal drop. Why? ROI is actually relative, for you it may seem high, but for your audience it may be low, or the other way around. Also, in a lot of cases you can’t calculate ROI exactly without inside company data, so better not risk looking like a fool
We are also coming back to the emotional and rational side of the brain. By bringing up hard data you activate the rational side of your audience and this will make them analyse what you are saying.
Watch this video before using ever again ROI in a presentation:
13. Don’t Focus on features and forget about benefits
Your company usually gets so excited on the new features the product has and they put it everywhere. Since it’s everywhere, this means it’s also on your website. So the prospects have already seen them.
What they are more interested in, is the benefits they can get from these features, how do they help. This is what you need to put in the presentation, think about the prospects and what they want to know.
14. Don’t Jump to conclusions
One prospect looking at the phone during the presentation doesn’t mean that he is not interested or he’s not paying attention. Be aware of the people you are meeting with, they are professionals, they can multitask, they’ve seen a lot of presentations.
Be confident and keep your calm. Leave some time after your presentation for discussions so you will get the chance to find out their opinion on the product.
15. Don’t be defensive
When receiving feedback or even some comments during the presentation, most salespersons try to defend the product a little too much. Know your weak spots and be ready with solid arguments, but don’t take it too far, show empathy and understand their point of view.
Be open to criticism, give some explanations, but in the end accept their position towards your product.
For this we recommend you the article What Make a Good Salesman from Harvard Business Review.
Try to use these tips on your next sales presentations and let us not how it was.
Sales presentations are not so difficult to deliver if you have the right visual support for it. Send us an email and we’ll help you create the presentation you need.