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The Most Important Slides Your Pitch Deck Needs in a Sales Pitch

The number of slides in your presentation depends on two things: your audience and the type of presentation you’re delivering. For sales pitches, there are some things you need to keep standard, like your company background, what you’re selling, etc.

Want to know the information you need for your slide deck? We’ve taken advice from renowned entrepreneur Guy Kawasaki and listed down the most important slide content of a sales pitch.

Company Background

Before anything else, let your audience know who you are. Prospects will be less likely to listen or invest in you if you don’t provide your background information. Give them an overview of your job description, and company. This should include its name and a brief of its history.

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This part of your pitch doesn’t have to be lengthy at all. It shouldn’t take more than one introductory slide. Use this as an opportunity to squeeze in your company contact details. Your goal is for potential customers to call you up after your pitch.

Value Proposition

Once you’ve gotten introductions out of the way, it’s time to go into your business plan. Describe the problem or opportunity and present your product as its solution. Don’t be vague about your descriptions. Discuss how your product solves the problem and highlight what sets you apart from others who offer similar services. Avoid wordy slides and lengthy speeches too. Diagrams and flowcharts will drive home your point faster. Also, take this as an opportunity to present a demo or a sample to give them an idea of what they’ll invest in.

People don’t just want to hear about how good you are. They want to see how effective your offer really is. Showing them your product at work can convince them of what you’re capable of doing.

Financial Projections and Current Status

While you’ll want to impress investors during your pitch, you should also stay factual and realistic. Run your audience through a feasible timeline of your project. Build up your journey from your current status to what you hope to accomplish, both in the long-term and the short-term. Prepare a financial forecast, possibly for the next three to five years. Include an outlook of what the near future looks like for other key metrics as well. Tell people how far you are in your timeline. Some updates you can include are how much funds you have and how you plan to allocate them to achieve your objectives.

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Once you have this information, explain the actions you’re taking to fulfill your forecast. Enumerate your present accomplishments, and expound on how they contribute to your business goals.

Assuring your listeners that you’re on your way increases the likelihood of them investing in you.

Seal the Deal

Your PowerPoint’s content should reflect all the key points to discuss with your audience. An introductory slide establishes who you are and where you stand. After establishing rapport, explain your product or service to people. Without being too technical, describe its value and how it differs from any competitors. Have diagrams and flowcharts replace complex data. If available, give a demo or a sample to concretize your point. Give a three-to-five-year forecast of your product’s progress, and keep the audience on track of where you currently are in your timeline. Cover all these points, to give investors a better perspective of your business.

Once you’re done fleshing out your presentation content, it’s time to figure out your design. Consult with our SlideGenius experts today for a free quote!

 

References:

Kawasaki, Guy. “The Only 10 Slides You Need in Your Pitch.” Guy Kawasaki. March 5, 2015. www.guykawasaki.com/the-only-10-slides-you-need-in-your-pitch
Markowitz, Eric. “7 Deadly Sins of Sales Pitching.” Inc. April 18, 2011. www.inc.com/ss/7-deadly-sins-sales-pitching
Okyle, Carly. “The Only 10 Slides Needed When Pitching Your Business (Infographic).” Entrepreneur. March 18 2015. www.entrepreneur.com/article/244098
“Key Performance Indicators.” Klipfolio. n.d. www.klipfolio.com/resources/kpi-examples

 

Featured Image: “Encore Event Planning Seminar-38” by SpokaneFocus on Flickr.com

How to Handle 4 Different Personality Types of Customers

Every person has a distinct personality type and buying decision behavior. Cultural traditions, race, and social status influence an individual’s decisions and actions. This is why sales professionals need to understand these key factors to map out a strategy that best fits them.

While it’s possible to cater to different sets of audiences, it’s important to know not only their needs and preferences but also their buying behavior and expectations.

Here are four different customer personality types essential for your sales success:

1. The Analytical

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People who possess this personality look for facts and figures in a sales presentation. In a post written by HubSpot’s Leslie Ye, she explains that people with this personality type do advanced research on the business contact prior to the initial interaction.

Analytics prefer to have deeper knowledge about the subject before getting convinced on a particular matter. They verify each information and focus more on the brand’s features to make sure of its quality and efficiency.

These customers use most of their logical thinking rather than their emotional side when it comes to making decisions.

How to handle:

Focus on providing information relevant to what your business can do for them. Use qualitative and statistical data that shows exact representations of facts to attract attention and stir interest. Since these people are information-oriented and have a keen eye for detail, you need to be specific and direct when delivering your pitch.

Expect questions and clarifications during the selling process. This indicates that they’re interested in knowing your business more. Be patient because analytical customers are slow decision makers.

2. The Amiable

Amiable Personality Type of Customers

The Amiable are respectful, sociable, and trustworthy. They’re good at listening to and forming relationships with others. Unlike analytical thinkers, amiable people care more about building rapport and establishing trust with other professionals.

They’re more interested in conducting business transactions with people who meet their buying expectations. Their decision relies on how the company manages to value their interest in relationship-building.

How to handle:

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Make yourself likeable by creating a good impression and recognizing their presence. Asking questions that show your interest adds a personal touch to your pitch. This makes them feel valued, which nurtures your relationship with them. Provide relevant questions that allow them to share their personal experiences about a certain product. Address their needs based on answers to increase your chances of closing more sales.

You can also introduce some of your colleagues who can offer help and assistance in their decision-making.

3. The Expressive

Expressive Personality Type of Customers

People with the expressive personality use most of their creative side to voice out their opinions on a particular topic. When presented with facts, they’d prefer to share their own perspective rather than ask for additional information. However, they know how to show respect others as much as they want them to be respected. Similar to those with an amiable personality, they give importance to relationships. They value the welfare of the people who can be affected by their choices.

Unlike analytical and amiable customers, expressive individuals are fast decision makers.

How to handle:

Tell stories that are relevant to the topic and to each concerned individual. You can also share your own experiences to help them better understand what’s being discussed. Focus on showing what your business can do for them while concentrating on a possible outcome they may encounter after the purchase. Connect with them and establish a deeper level of relationship by tapping into their emotions.

While facts and other data can help, these type of customers set their minds in making and fulfilling decisions that people will love.

4. The Driver

Driver Personality Type of Customers

People with this personality are mostly self-centered and opinionated. They find pleasure in manipulating a pitch that identifies them as reasonable and authoritative.

According to speaking expert Rick Segel, drivers expect each information to be delivered in the quickest way possible because they’re goal-oriented. They’re commanding in nature and motivated to achieve their objectives. They want immediate answers and solutions. They also value competence as much as they value expertise and preparation.

Similar to expressive customers, drivers are fast decision makers.

How to handle:

Get straight to the point when expounding on your pitch. Be direct without compromising clarity and quality of your performance. Provide facts and evidences to help them easily understand your message and make quick decisions. Mentioning irrelevant or unnecessary information will only waste both your time and effort. So be careful to give only what’s needed in a particular discussion.

Highlight how your business will enable them to reach their goals and let them stand out from the competition.

The Takeaway: Be Flexible

4 Different Personality Types of Customers

One of the famous proverbs from Gregory Titelman’s Random House Dictionary says: “Different strokes for different folks.” Simply put, being aware of these personalities enables you to strategize more effectively to meet their needs and solve their problems.

These traits will help you identify what type of customers you’re interacting with. Whether they’re analytical, amiable, expressive, driver, or a mix of these personalities, make sure to craft a compelling pitch specifically catered to their preferences. This will also allow you to improve your strategy and prepare for your presentation’s success.

Let our team help and assist you with your presentation needs by giving you a free quote!

 

References

Leck, Lorna. “Different strokes for different folks.” Sales Activator. March 23, 2015. www.salesactivator.com/resources/blog/different-strokes-for-different-folks
Segel, Rick. “4 Types of Customers (and How to Sell to Each of Them).” Business Know-How. n.d. www.businessknowhow.com/marketing/personalities.htm
Ye, Leslie. “How to Sell to Different Personality Types.” HubSpot. April 15, 2015. blog.hubspot.com/marketing/sell-different-personality-types

 

Featured Image: “Diversity” by Angie Garrett on flickr.com

3 Ways to Make PowerPoint Presentation Notes Your Ally

Notes provide a convenient way to keep track of your speech, but depending on them hinders audience engagement. It keeps you from establishing eye contact, and communicating nonverbally through hand gestures and body movements.

So when are you allowed to use it all throughout your speech?

To Use or Not to Use?

If you’re discussing a complex topic that needs an in-depth approach, then there’s no problem with using it as a script. This is because there are certain subjects that can only be thoroughly explained with notes.

Ideally though, notes should be for recalling only main points and important data. While it’s still possible to keep audiences engaged with a script in hand, master your topic and give yourself more time to maximize your stage presence for a more effective presentation.

If you have no other choice but to use your script, here’s how you can best utilize your PowerPoint presentation notes:

1. Write in a Conversational Tone

According to presentation trainer, Gary Genard, you should write a speech with the intentions of delivering it, not reading it. Before you craft your speech, plan it with a natural delivery in mind. One way to do this is to construct each statement by using contractions. Instead of writing “will not,” you can compose it as “won’t” to sound more conversational.

Remember to use simple words as if you’re just talking to a friend. Simpler language makes it easier for your audience to follow your arguments and understand your points.

2. Know When to Pause

Learning how to pause allows you to emphasize each point, making it easier for listeners to digest what you’re discussing. When you type your script out, make sure to use double-spacing.

You can use these spaces to write notes on where you should be pausing for dramatic effect.

3. Project Your Voice

Strive for a voice that’s loud enough for the audience and venue, but still pleasant to listen to. Speech coach Lenny Laskowski advises that presenters take note of their tone, pitch, and inflection in order to stay aware of how audible they are to an audience.

Record yourself or ask a colleague to listen while you speak with your notes. Then, listen to how you deliver each statement, and pay attention closely to your voice’s inflection.

A measured, dynamic, and powerful voice projection keeps your audience at the edge of their seat and glued to your every word.

One More Thing to Note...

Practice more often to sound natural and conversational. By writing in a conversational tone, knowing when to pause, and projecting your voice, you can successfully engage your audience with your notes on.If you need to use a script, compensate with writing, delivery, and projection.

Do you need a well-designed deck to go with your speech? SlideGenius’ presentation experts can offer you a free quote!

 

References

4 Common Ways To Remember Material – Presentation Skills.” LJLSeminars. Accessed August 14, 2015
Genard, Gary. “How to Speak from Notes or a Manuscript in Public Speaking.The Genard Method. February 10, 2013. Accessed August 14, 2015

 

Featured Image: Friendship” by Nicola from flickr.com

Sales Presentation Q&A Tips: 4 Reasons to Master Negotiation

Your sales presentation is the last hurdle before you can seal the deal, but even that has a final step: the Q&A.

In every presentation, clients always have questions or concerns. These can be about how your company does business or the package options you have to offer.

Listening to and clarifying their questions will help them understand your position, making them more likely to trust you and close the sale. Experienced sales executives will always plan for these scenarios for 4 main reasons:

1. Clients Always Want Options

People will always look for a better deal to get their money’s worth.

You could be the best supplier of electronic gadgets in the industry, but if you don’t have any favorable options to offer your clients, like a bundle purchase deal with lower price points, or gadgets that they need, chances are they’ll give their money to the competition.

This is why having a fixed set of options rarely works: If you say you can’t give something to a client, you will have a harder time convincing them to invest in you. According to business consultant Larry Myler, giving alternatives is one of the negotiation techniques that salespeople use as a common ground for both their desired outcome and the clients’ desires.

2. Listening Lets You Learn Their Expectations

Our last article talked about knowing your audience’s expectations to help you give a more understandable pitch. While it’s good to know these beforehand, nothing beats getting these firsthand when you need to address their questions on the spot.

This lets you come up with better responses, whether it’s clarifying your previous statements in the pitch, or suggesting alternatives to the options you offered them. Listening also helps you get a better handle on what your clients expect from business partners.

For example, they may have objections to the pricing of your mobile service provider package, but if you let them explain why, you might have the advantage of using that information for either justifying the package or offering them something that fits their budget.

3. You Control the Argument

Learning to say no is another important skill in the Q&A. As the presenter, you need to be clear on what you can and cannot offer to remain in control of the deal. Let’s go back to that example of the mobile service provider: Your package may only be offered at a certain range, but a client might want to lower it further.

If your company knows that the proposed discount is unacceptable due to cost reasons, it might be better for you to refuse and suggest another package. While it’s true that you need to think about your client’s expectations, your company will most likely have their own standards to uphold, making an ultimatum necessary.

By dictating the terms of the offer, you make the deal profitable for both sides. It also boosts their perception of you as a reliable seller.

4. You Project Yourself as a Partner

In every presentation, the objective is all about offering solutions to a problem. This is why every seasoned sales executive takes time to know their clients as much as they can in order to solve their difficulties.

Getting clients to talk about what they need is always a good starting point. Keynote speaker Sherrie Campbell lists presenting yourself as a partner who’s willing to listen among her strategies for mastering sales negotiations. .

If your client can’t agree with your offer, you can always ask why, or replace your offer with a better one. This leaves a better impression than using a “take it, or leave it” approach because you involve clients in coming up with a solution.

The Lesson: Listening Always Helps

Handling the presentation’s Q&A is just as important as giving it. This lets you know your target market and what will convince them to invest in you. Listening to their concerns lets you adjust your offers as needed.

Instead of simply handing out a limited set of options, you give them more possibilities that can sweeten the deal for both sides. At the same time, you have to make it clear that there are things that you can’t compromise on, like a lower price for quality goods.

At your presentation’s last stage, you can impress your clients with your delivery. If you can give them that last nudge to bite into your offer by hearing them out, jumping that final hurdle will be easier for you. Handling this step needs every advantage you can get.

To sharpen your selling edge, take a few minutes to get in touch with a professional presentation designer and spice up your PowerPoint.

 

References

Campbell, Sherrie. “7 Psychological Strategies for Mastering Sales Negotiations.” Entrepreneur. November 6, 2014. Accessed August 7, 2015.
Myler, Larry. “Four Ways To Win Any Negotiation.Forbes. June 1, 2015. Accessed August 7, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Signed Contract” by Mads T.F. on flickr.com

Enhance Your Sales Presentation by Appealing to Emotions

Fulfilling your passion goes beyond projecting confidence during a sales presentation. Using emotional appeal is one of the trade secrets of professional presenters and businessmen. By creating a set of common values, emotions, and beliefs about your product, your clients will have an easier time identifying with your brand.

It also helps you connect to your audience faster and sell more effectively. This marketing trick, which business gurus Michael and George Belch have cited as transformational advertising, also improves your persuasiveness as a presenter.

How to Properly Associate Emotions

More than just describing and summarizing your product’s benefits, effective sales presenters add an associated set of emotions to your pitch. In his book, Cutting Edge Advertising, Jim Aitchison notes these as anchors that remain consistent with your audience’s existing standards or beliefs.

This technique relies on giving clients the impression that you believe in the same things they do. Your creative PowerPoint presentation ideas thereby establish your creativity, while making your pitch more memorable.

Combine a Rational and Emotional Appeal

You need to clarify how clients can benefit from your proposal. According to product management expert Roman Pichler, good products are often focused on the user rather than the product itself.

Make this more effective by sharing emotional benefits from using your product. This is similar to what mobile AT&T did with its “reach out and touch someone” campaign, which encouraged its subscribers to keep in touch with family and friends.

According to Aitchison, be familiar with your product and the situations in which your customers will use it. Knowing these lets you decide what kind of emotions you want to associate with your product and your brand. This forms the basis of what emotional benefits to pitch to your clients.

Make Your Brand Own the Emotion

Once you identify what emotion to bring out, it’s time to bring the passion out. Do you want your PowerPoint presentation to sell a warm experience where families can bond together, similar to how McDonald’s does its advertisements? Or, like brand communications specialist Carmine Gallo’s example, do you want to sell a comfortable third place between home and work like Starbucks?

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These brands have defined their emotional benefits from ideas that stem directly from their products. More than selling fast food or custom-hand-crafted coffee, these brands emulate a specific personality that like-minded people can relate to. Find out what you want to be known for by getting to know the people who think like you do.

In a Nutshell: Bank on the Power of Belief

Combining rational and emotional benefits are more effective because they can both inform and rouse audiences. By driving home that you believe in the same things your audience does, you make them remember you better.

Once you find that emotion your brand or product can stand for, you can start playing to your passions for better PowerPoint presentation ideas that help you sell faster. Already have your big idea? All you need to do is to get the help of a professional PowerPoint specialist to bring them out.

 

References

Aitchison, Jim. Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. 2nd ed. Singapore: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2004.
Belch, George E., and Michael A. Belch. Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. 6th ed. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2003.
Gallo, Carmine. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Product Owners, Focus on the User Benefits, Not the Product!Roman Pichler. 2012. Accessed September 15, 2015.
Using Common Values in PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. April 21, 2015. Accessed September 15, 2015.

5 Sales Presentation Tips You Can Learn from Infomercials

An infomercial is a type of TV commercial used to generate sales and increase a product or service’s demand. It can last from two minutes to thirty minutes, offering a persuasive approach to influence viewers’ purchase decisions. Advertisers use this method to sell and leave its audience with lasting impact, convincing them to take action.

Besides AIDA, you can also rely on infomercial sales methods to capture your client’s attention and turn them into leads. Here are some techniques to include the next time you make your sales pitch:

Understand the Market

This involves presenting your audience with problems for which you have solutions. It’s important to position your product as something that’ll make their life easier and more convenient. People are continuously looking for something that satisfies their needs. This leads advertisers to find ways to take advantage and capture their attention and connect with them.

This is similar to how Alan Monroe’s motivational sequence views fulfillment of needs. Since people avoid the feeling of discomfort, they’re more likely to look for a solution that’ll help them feel at ease.

Show Striking Visuals

There’s nothing more effective than displaying powerful visuals and letting them speak for you. This is an efficient and effective approach that allows sales professionals to demonstrate how a certain product works.

When giving your sales presentation, use appropriate and striking images instead of walls of text to explain important information. Remember, a picture paints a thousand words.

Highlight the Client Benefits

Caring about your audience means prioritizing their needs over yours.

When you deliver your pitch, emphasize your product or services’ benefits to let them think that they need it. Focus on the results provided to generate interest.

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Include Testimonials

At first glance, people are more likely to share their opinions if a product is effective or if it’s worth buying. This involves showing your audience how customers share their experience when they began using the product or availing the service.

The Jones Theory is one of the sales impulse factors that convince your client based on others’ opinion of your product or service.

Inspire Action

Providing your audience with incentives shows a sense of urgency, convincing them to act immediately. Once you provide reasons that interest them, they’ll be convinced to act on their impulses.

Including an effective call-to-action takes advantage of the built up desire and increases your chances of positive results.

Conclusion

Applying these selling techniques from infomercials will benefit you and your audience. They allow you to satisfy their needs, while also helping your message get across. Open your presentation with a question that emphasizes their problems to get their attention. Keep their attention and complement your message with interesting and powerful visuals.

Keep them interested by concentrating on your product’s key benefits and unique features. Demonstrate your product’s value by showing them testimonials of satisfied clients. Encourage them to take action and take advantage of what you can offer with a top-notch Call-to-Action.

The next time you present, use these strategies to reel more clients in. To help you craft a more persuasive PowerPoint presentation, let SlideGenius experts assist you!

 

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References

Monroe’s Motivated Sequence: Perfecting the Call to Act.” Mind Tools. Accessed June 10, 2015.
The Sales Advice Website for Direct Salespeople.” Door to Door Salesman, 2015. Accessed June 10, 2015.
Use AIDA for Persuasive PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 27, 2015. Accessed June 10, 2015.

2 Ad Agency Tips to Address Sales Presentation Risks

Every business activity has its risks. Marketing campaigns may not get needed profits, and clients reject proposals for advertisements.

Each pitch is an investment and a risk. You spend time putting together information, buying market data prominent research agencies, or hiring a professional PowerPoint designer to put it together for you. There’ll always be resources to invest in, all to get your client’s approval.

How do you convince clients to risk investing in you?

In his book Cutting Edge Advertising, Jim Aitchison writes about how ad agencies tackle this problem by taking a fresh idea and a different way of selling products from the competition. To challenge the risks of giving a sales pitch, listen to your consumers, then propose a new message that uses what you learned.

1. Listen to Your Clients

Everyone has a story to tell, even consumers.

Effective advertising and marketing strategies are based on how a brand’s consumer base behaves. Getting to know how the consumers feel, what their stories are and how to respond to them are all crucial parts of crafting relevant messages that sell.

Clients are no different. Consulting them before planning your PowerPoint deck lets you know what your clients need from you. What are the business objectives they need to fulfill? What are their cost concerns, implementation and estimated profits?

2. Take the Creative Step

Take that information, match it with your most relevant offer and present it in a fresh and interesting manner. Guide presentation techniques about time and slide limits with your data.

As Aitchison writes: “Present something the audience will recognize as themselves, their lives, their dreams, but with a twist, so they are actually startled by it, or will get an extra insight from it”. Great examples of this technique he cited include the Nike Shox TV ad and Steve Jobs’ introduction of the iPod Nano in 2005.

What to Take From This

Everything will have risks, especially with your business and sales presentation.

Identifying these risks gives you time to plan in advance. Knowing what to expect, how to talk to your clients and how to pitch your products in an interesting PowerPoint deck makes all the difference. A small moment of your time saves you from the usual headaches of making a winning sales pitch.

It’s an investment worth making, and a risk worth taking. Talk to the right people to get you started.

 

References

Apple Music Special Event 2005-The iPod Nano Introduction. Apple History Channel. Accessed July 27, 2015.
2000 Vince Carter Nike SHOX Commercial/Jumping Over Gary PaytonYouTube. Accessed July 27, 2015. 

5 TED Talk Secrets for Persuasive PowerPoint Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed July 27, 2015.
Aitchison, J. Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore; New York: Prentice Hall, 2004.

Adapting Elevator Pitches Into Your Sales Presentation

The idea of adapting a sales presentation into a 30-second elevator pitch is to deliver a clear and concise speech that makes a good impression in a short amount of time.

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When the elevator door opens and a potential client stands near you, you want to catch his attention and, hopefully, get his business card.

Stay ahead of the competition. Consider every presentation as the chance of a lifetime, so make a speech that sells more than it tells.

Here’s how you can plot your message similar to a well-crafted elevator pitch:

Establish Credibility

How can you earn someone’s trust in the span of an elevator ride?

The key is to establish credibility.

Reel your audience in at the very start and build a positive mental picture in their minds.

A short yet concise self-introduction makes you sound credible. According to presentation trainer Gavin Meikle, you can also literally walk the talk and exude credibility through confident body language.

Stating your specialization and longevity on the field, as well as your manner of speaking, are essential. Convince your audience that you’re worth listening to.

Build Curiosity

Eagle Venture CEO Mel Pirchesky’s famously quoted line summarizes the essence of an elevator pitch: “The objective of the first ten or fifteen seconds is to make your prospective investors want to listen to the next forty-five or fifty seconds differently, more intently than they would have otherwise.”

That’s why most elevator pitches build upon curiosity. They want to make the impression last until the last second.

Though short, elevator pitches shouldn’t reveal your entire offer right off the bat. It’s more of a prelude to the bigger pitch coming up once you’ve hooked your listener into paying attention.

For presentations, giving your audience a glimpse of your product’s benefits is great for hooking in a new lead. This suggests involvement and creates the right atmosphere for persuasion.

Express Spontaneity

Elevator speeches express spontaneity.

They sound like a story being told out of impulse, often in a conversational tone. This adds a greater sense of sincerity to your pitch.

When doing a sales presentation, avoid sounding like you’re reading a script.

Practice delivering your speech naturally while sharing your main idea and purpose. Asking a relatable question can also increase audience participation.

Summing It Up

Your sales presentation is your gateway for new leads. Craft an elevator pitch to hook your audience in the most concise and fastest manner possible.

Having problems creating presentations that sell? Contact SlideGenius and we’ll help you design a PowerPoint presentation that gets you the sales you deserve!

 

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References

 
Cameron, Chris. “Going Up! How to Ride An Elevator Pitch to New Heights.” ReadWrite. January 11, 2010. Accessed July 01, 2015.
How Not to Depend on Your PowerPoint Presentation Scripts.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed July 01, 2015.
Meikle, Gavin. “How to Come Across as Credible With Your Audience.” InterActiv Presenting and Influencing. July 16, 2013. Accessed July 01, 2015.
Why Conversational Tones Work for Corporate Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed July 01, 2015.

 

Featured Image: “Elevator” by Gideon Tsang on flickr.com

The Secret to an Effective Sales Presentation Rehearsal

The best sales presentations are planned weeks in advance, with rehearsals taking several hours.

Presenters refine several factors such as speech tone, body language, hand gestures, demonstrations, and even slide timing.

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The Secret

What’s the overarching secret to getting the most out of your rehearsal?

Deliberate practice.

According to brand communications expert Carmine Gallo, this is a form of training which involves setting specific goals (say, giving a sales pitch in five minutes), asking for feedback, and continuous improvement during your career as a professional presenter.

Setting Goals

Using this method of training means being specific down to the last detail.

How powerful will your tone be? What sort of emotions do you need to use for presenting? How long will your speech take per slide?

Gallo presents Steve Jobs as an example because of his meticulousness. Jobs spends several hours practicing the sales pitch’s every aspect, right down to how much lighting to use for showing his products.

Similarly, a skilled presenter notes his pitch’s every detail and how they’ll work during the actual show date. This lets you plan how your deck work, including your speech’s timing, for an effortless sales pitch.

Properly Using Feedback

Do the presentation rehearsal with your team, supervisor or even in front of a mirror.

If you have someone or something to help spot your errors, take note of your mistakes and avoid doing them during the actual pitch.

Note if there were likable things you did (ex. building rapport with the audience, poking good-natured fun at yourself) that you can repeat.

Sales strategist Marc Wayshak suggests that another effective way of getting feedback would be to ask prospects what works for them or what doesn’t. This won’t diminish your credibility. In fact, it will make you seem even more determined to connect with them and understand their needs.

Continuous Improvement

As simple as this sounds, improving yourself can take years. Practice is essential to a sales presentation, especially if you want to sound spontaneous.

Over the course of your career, improve yourself by studying both your performance and your audience’s feedback.

Combined with rigorous deliberative practice, you’ll eventually define and improve your mix of personal presentation techniques, letting you sell better than you ever could before.

The Bottom Line

Practice everything, down to the tiniest detail. If you’re as passionate about giving a presentation as Steve Jobs and the top TED speakers are, rehearse, rehearse, rehearse.

Learn from your mistakes and strengths to reach your fullest potential as a presenter.

Once you’ve honed your skills, work with a presentation design specialist to give you the right selling tools!

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References

Gallo, C. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
Plan Ahead to Avoid PowerPointless Presentations.” SlideGenius, Inc. May 27, 2015. Accessed June 19, 2015.
Wayshak, Marc. “5 Tips to Giving the Perfect Sales Presentation.” Salesforce Blog. January 23, 2014. Accessed June 19, 2015.

Sales Presentation Tips from The Art of War: Know Your Craft

In their breakthrough book, The Art of War for Managers, business veterans Gerald and Steven Michaelson cite one of history’s greatest military tacticians, Sun Tzu.

Drawing from one of Sun Tzu’s famous lines, “…the general who understands war is… the guarantor of the security of the nation,” these business gurus suggest that if you spend time knowing your business well enough, you’ll lead it effectively.

The same principle applies to sales presentations.

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CEOs and sales teams take time to know their businesses and products before pitching. They also have a firm grasp of the public speaking techniques they need to sell.

As a presenter, here are three aspects you should master:

Your Product

Knowing your tools is the first step to building a selling idea. According to renowned author Jim Aitchison, learning every aspect of your product or service lets you explain its features correctly. It also helps you outline the benefits your prospects are interested in.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What is it?
  • How does it work?
  • What benefits does it give to clients?
  • What situations can they use it in?

These should lead to what clients need to know, more specifically: how the product or service help their business.

Your Presentation Techniques

Once you know how your business and products work, rehearse. There is no shortcut.

As brand communications expert, Carmine Gallo, says, even some professional presenters spend several weeks rehearsing for a single pitch. They also take note of what works and what doesn’t so they can improve their public speaking.

Professional presenters deliberately practice until they get their pitch just right, almost as if their work was effortless.

Learn how to use the techniques and tools at your disposal before entering the boardroom to give yourself an immense advantage over others.

Your PowerPoint Deck

Once you know everything about your product or service and have spent hours rehearsing your speech, it’s time to prepare your third and most crucial component: your PowerPoint deck.

Your deck is not a script, but it’s there to help your audience visualize what you have to say, so keep it as simple and understandable as possible.

You can even hire professional PowerPoint specialists to help you design a deck that effectively sells your pitch.

Learn the Tools and the Trade

Presentation skills and techniques are acquired over time. Some spend hours practicing to gain them, while others have built them up over their careers. The same thing goes for knowing your business well enough to sell it.

Know every aspect of your product first. There’s nothing to pitch if you don’t understand your own offering. Rehearse until you master your tone, gestures, and timing. All the information you have is useless if you can’t deliver it clearly.

Finally, make your deck simple but packed with meaningful content. Don’t use them as your cue cards. Instead, use them to emphasize what you want to say. With enough practice, you’ll know how to best persuade a crowd by combining all these factors into a great sales presentation.

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References

Aitchison, J. Cutting Edge Advertising: How to Create the World’s Best Print for Brands in the 21st Century. Singapore, New York: Prentice Hall, 2004.
Gallo, C. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill. 2010.
Knowing Your Products and Services.” Queensland Government. Accessed June 15, 2015.
Michaelson, G., and Steven Michaelson. Sun Tzu: The Art of War for Managers: 50 Strategic Rules Updated for Today’s Business. 2nd ed. Avon, Mass.: Adams Media. 2010.
The Secret to an Effective Sales Presentation Rehearsal.” SlideGenius, Inc. 2015. Accessed June 15, 2015.

 

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