Delivering effective sales presentations can be tricky if you are not comfortable with your product, your client, or if standing up in front of others frightens you. Having open discussion about sales needs vs. ability for the product to meet those needs is critical to an effective sales presentation. Here are some tips to help you develop and deliver a compelling sales presentation:
Know the Industry
Have a base understanding of the industry in which you are selling into. Know the major players, and know the products, services, and most recent media releases so you can have an overall knowledge of the marketplace in which you are selling into. Subscribe to a few reputable trade magazines to help you stay on top of marketplace happenings. Your prospect will expect this from you in coming to present to them.
Know the Prospect
Research your prospect so that you understand their size, products, typical buying processes, fiscal year end, competitors, marketplace position, and value proposition to their clients. This will help you tailor your presentation and product or service offering specific to their needs, and will build credibility as one who has taken time to understand them well.
Know How Much Time You Have
Prior to your presentation, make sure you understand how much time you will have with the client, as well as resources available to you to make your presentation. This will help you prepare your initial presentation, as well as formulate a back-up plan in the event the initial presentation does not work out for one reason or another.
Know Their Needs and Your Product
Before you present anything, make sure you know their needs as well as how you believe your product will meet those needs. The idea in an effective sales presentation is to create a match between you and the prospect-so the more you know about the challenges their business is facing, the better off you will be in meeting (and/or exceeding) those challenges through your products/services customized to their business needs.
Know Buying Signals
Before you present your product, you should have a pretty good idea as to where you stand in their eyes. Understand their buying signals and know how to overcome their objections-especially on your feet-is critical. Keep note of their hesitations, their concerns, and their goals, and put in place a plan to overcome them.
Remember that “no” does not necessarily mean “no”. It may simply mean that the prospect does not completely understand your value proposition. Clear communication and recognition of progress through the sales presentation will help you tailor your presentation and your answers to their questions most effectively.
Know Who the Ultimate Buyer is
There may be several “influencers” in the buying process, but ultimately one buyer who makes the final buying decision. Know who that person is, and make sure you alleviate any concerns they have as you are closing them on buying your products or services. It is critical that they understand your company and product’s key value proposition so they can feel comfortable with their purchase.
Many people have an innate fear of presenting to groups of people, regardless of the group’s size. Speak clearly, confidently, and be honest. If your prospect has questions you cannot answer, tell them you will find the answer and get back to them at your earliest convenience. Practice your presentation, and anticipate potential questions and how you will answer them.
Dress professionally, and don’t come across as too “salesy.” Watch your mannerisms, and try to mirror the mannerisms of your client as much as possible without annoying them so as to put them at ease with you. Be conversational, sincere, and honest.
Overall, an effective sales presentation has as much to do with your preparation for the presentation as it does your ability to “wow” your prospect with a dazzling light show or phenomenal product presentation. Know your prospect inside and out before you ever present product offerings to them, and you will win the first battle to making them your client: earning their respect for who you are and the company which you represent.