Identifying your client’s expectations is always the first step but is only half of the equation. The other half is meeting and exceeding those expectations using your business presentation.
Before opening PowerPoint and rehearsing, solve what ad veteran Luke Sullivan cites as two problems shared by most advertising campaigns: the client’s business and how to deliver your pitch.
The Client’s Business Problem
Every client wants something. Common business objectives that you’ll pitch ideas for include:
- promoting a new product.
- showing investors that your company is worth doing business with.
- getting a partner for a joint.
First, find out what your clients’ objectives are, then choose the best way to solve them.
Delivering Your Pitch
The key lies in your strategy. If you were a CEO who needed more business partners to work with you, how would you go about it?
Will you highlight your market performance? Will you show testimonies from satisfied clients you served? Will you showcase the advantages your company has over the competition?
According to renowned author, Jim Aitchison, deciding the best way to achieve these objectives will be your strategy. Fulfilling that strategy needs three tactics used in the advertising industry:
Tactic 1: Filter Your Ideas
Always start with a clean slate. Take your ideas to the drawing board before plugging in your images or words. This gives you room to plan how your idea works. Will you need to back up your claims with numbers? Will you need to highlight your main benefit and support it with the three strongest facts? Should you highlight the problem and what parts of it you can tackle?
Asking yourself even the most absurd and unrelated questions can help you find simple solutions, like a product benefit or a relevant fact about your client that you may have overlooked.
Tactic 2: Put your Benefits Front and Center
Professional presenters know that their audience always looks for their product or service’s benefits. Advertisers know that people won’t buy a product for what it is, but for what it can give them. After figuring out which ideas to utilize, use a combination of visuals and text that prove your point.
One early Volkswagen print ad showed a lunar landing craft with the tagline “It’s ugly but it gets you there,” highlighting their cars’ practicality. It never showed the product. It showed a benefit.
Tactic 3: Use Incontestable Facts
Use irrefutable facts to kill your competition. Sullivan recommends that if you have a fact that highlights your product’s durability or effectiveness, use it, especially if your competitors can’t argue or disprove it.
If you can say that your services cost 30% less than leading providers, if you have a way to increase your client’s market share within the first three months, and if you have the numbers to back up your claims, you can easily establish your credibility with the audience.
It can be something as simple as the tagline that gave Avis Rent A Car its reputation (“The line at our counter is shorter.”) which implied that they served customers faster.
The Bottom Line: Fulfill the Need in Style
Speech tone, body language, facial expressions, even the images you use in your PowerPoint deck are tools to sell your product. These can change and improve over time, but your client’s basic needs will never change. They‘ll always look for cheaper raw materials, more efficient outsourced production, more cost-efficient electronics, etc.
Every business seeks a specific product that offers the benefits they need. This should form the substance behind every single sales presentation technique you use, and every slide design that you make. It all boils down to how effectively you use these tools to fulfill that need.
To help with your business presentation strategy and get the most out of your PowerPoint deck, take a few minutes to ask a professional partner for help.
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“A Presentation Expert’s Guide to Knowing the Audience.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed July 22, 2015.
Aitchison, J. (2004). Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore ; New York: Prentice Hall.
Gallo, C. (2010). The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Great VW Ads. Accessed July 22, 2015.
Sullivan, L. (2008). Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads (3rd Ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons.