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What’s Wrong With Your Sales Presentations?

Sales presentations are a crucial step to your reaching out and communicating with prospect clients. During such an opportunity, you get to make them understand the importance of what your brand can do for them.

Because of this, it’s important that you make the most of the time you’ve been given. Delivering a successful sales pitch leads you one step closer to sealing the deal with a new client.

But what if your sales presentations aren’t helping you reach that outcome? Let us lend you a hand by taking note of some mistakes that could cost you incredible opportunities:

Mistake #1: Lack of preparation

Most people try to prepare for sales presentations as quickly as possible, thinking they can simply “wing” most of their pitch.

Sure, you might have taken the time to prepare your PowerPoint deck and all the points you want to cover, but this isn’t enough to get you across the finish line. If you really want to succeed and impress your prospects, plan and prepare every aspect of your presentation.

Take the time to do some research and prepare your materials long before your scheduled meeting.

Plan how you’ll go about your presentation to make sure you don’t go over the time you were given. Be meticulous about every step, or you might end up with a half-baked pitch.

Mistake #2: The hard sell

Your ultimate goal is to seal the deal with your prospects. However, your sales presentations shouldn’t sound like a desperate bid to get hired.

While hard selling has its own benefits, Gigaom contributor, Celine Roque, explains that its straightforwardness may not always work for everyone.

Explore other avenues of pitching your product or service. Let your brand should speak for itself. Work hard to present all the significant features that are relevant to your audience by appealing to their experiences.

During your preparation, try to learn as much as you can about your prospects: What particular challenge would they want to solve with the help of your product or service?

After that, identify a few attributes that would be important to them based on what you found out through your research.

Mistake #3: Poor delivery

You can have the most inspired presentation ever, but it won’t be any good if you can’t deliver properly.

As compelling as your points might be, you need to make sure you sell them as best you can.

Don’t waste a good opportunity by mumbling to yourself and avoiding eye contact. Face the crowd with confidence.

If you’re feeling a bit nervous about it, we have plenty of tips that might help you shake off your anxiety. Rather than run away from your fears, face them and use them to your advantage.

Your audience doesn’t know your presentation the way you do, so don’t be afraid to make mistakes.

You’ll be surprised how much you can do when you put on a brave face.

Mistake #4: Ignoring the audience

It’s hard to trust and engage with a presenter who talks without much regard to his audience.

If you don’t take the time to pause and ask questions, your prospects might feel like you’re talking at them, rather than to them. This defeats the point of engaging them.

Instead of this bad habit, make them feel like you’re in a productive conversation.

Remember that you have to leave your prospects with a favorable impression of your brand and organization.

A disengaged presenter won’t do that. Make eye contact and be pleasant throughout your presentation. Observe their reactions and ask for their comments if it looks like someone might want to share comments.

Mistake #5: Bad PowerPoint designs

Finally, keep in mind that PowerPoint design plays an important role in the success of sales presentations.

As we’ve mentioned time and again, majority of people are visual learners. Seeing your pitch play out in front of them as engaging visuals can really add impact to the message you want to share.

Step out of the mold and customize your design. You can also browse through our portfolio for inspiration and contact our expert presentation designers for some extra help.

 

References

Design Ideas: How to Improve PowerPoint Templates.” SlideGenius, Inc. December 9, 2014. Accessed March 3, 2015.
How to Shake Off Your Pre-Presentation Jitters.” SlideGenius, Inc. November 6, 2014.Accessed March 3, 2015.
Roque, Celine. “Hard Selling vs. Soft Selling: Which Approach Do You Use With Clients?Gigaom. February 25, 2009. Accessed March 3, 2015.
The Visual (spatial) Learning Style.” Learning Styles. Accessed March 3, 2015.

 

Featured Image: David Goehring via Flickr

9 Simple Rules for an Effective Sales Presentation

There’s a lot at stake when delivering a sales presentation. After cold calls and endless follow-ups, you now have the opportunity to meet with prospects and have a worthwhile discussion with them. You get to showcase the service or product you’re offering and all the benefits attached to it.

In order to succeed, you can’t just throw a PowerPoint deck together and deliver a haphazard presentation. Instead, you need to be mindful of the correct techniques, making use of your creativity to leave a lasting impression.

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Here are 9 simple rules to make sure your pitch goes according to plan:

1.) Keep it short and simple

It’s easy to lose interest in a presentation that seems to go on forever. Even with an extremely engaging topic, most audiences have a hard time focusing their attention for more than a couple of minutes.

The first step to improving your sales presentation is by cutting down the content. Focus only on the points that are crucial to the message you’re delivering.

2.) Hook the audience with a story

There’s nothing more compelling than a good story. Instead of presenting your pitch in a traditional, matter-of-fact way, you can spin it into a narrative. Following the dramatic arc of ancient Greek plays, or use the AIDA method as a guide.

With a specific and structured narrative, you can easily determine which points are crucial to your message, and which ones feel excessive or unnecessary. This technique can also lead to a stronger connection between you and your audience.

3.) Create tension by identifying challenges

All the best stories are able to build tension for conflict and suspense. The same thing should be true for your sales presentation. Briefly show your prospects just how crucial your product or service is. Let them know that you’re aware of the problems they encounter. Describe a scenario that enumerates the challenges they face. Aside from making your pitch more compelling, this will let your prospects see how much you understand their current situation.

4.) Release tension by detailing your solution

Of course, you’ll need to do more than talk about the problems. Too much suspense can also kill engagement, so balance your story out by bringing attention to positive details as well. Delve into the features of your product or service, and focus on the opportunities it can give your prospects. Show them how your solution is the best way to overcome their challenges.

5.) Showcase your accomplishments, expertise, and experience

Another thing you can’t miss is to showcase the value of your brand and company. Build audience trust by enumerating your key accomplishments and relevant industry experience. Let your prospects understand the culture and logic behind your product or service, but don’t spend too much time blowing your own horn. Majority of your sales presentation should be spent on connecting with your prospect and showcasing the benefits of your offer.

6.) Emphasize your message with slides that incorporate your brand

Your brand encapsulates your entire company identity. By creating a PowerPoint deck that mirrors your brand, you can help your presentation become more unique and distinguishable. The easiest way to go about this is by using a color palette that’s similar to your logo. You can also incorporate the overall theme of your product into your design. These examples can serve as inspiration.

7.) Prepare for the difficult questions

You can never tell how the audience will react to your presentation. Your prospect might ask you questions that are difficult to answer. They could also bring up points you weren’t made aware of in your previous conversations. For situations like this, it’s always better to be prepared. Get ready to improvise. It will also help if you list down and answer all the possible questions that your audience might ask. Consult your colleagues and other members of your team to expand your list.

8.) Close with a specific Call-to-Action

The Call-to-Action (CTA) is perhaps the most crucial part of your sales presentation. It summarizes the purpose of your pitch in a bold statement that urges your prospects to take positive action. In other words, the CTA puts the ball on their side of the court. To be effective, a CTA needs to be direct, precise, and straight to the point.

9.) Don’t forget to follow up

Your work doesn’t stop even after your sales presentation ends with positive feedback. You can’t assume that your prospects will immediately act on your presentation. The people in your audience, especially the key decision makers, often have busy schedules. To make sure the impact of your sales presentation doesn’t dwindle, send an email to your prospects and reiterate your points.

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READ MORE: What Makes a Sales Pitch, As Told by Mad Men’s Don Draper

 

Featured Image: Ted Eytan via Flickr

Enhance Your Sales Presentations with the AIDA Method

Did your last sales presentation end with blank stares from the audience? If your answer is a loud and desperate ‘yes’, it’s time to consider a new strategy. Luckily, there’s a classic marketing trick that will help sustain audience engagement throughout your presentation. It’s called the AIDA method.

The AIDA method was first developed in 1898. It proves its longevity as it continues to provide an effective framework for marketing efforts. Utilize it for your next sales presentation.

What is AIDA?

AIDA is an acronym that stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. Basically, it serves as a framework for any type of content that aims to persuade, engage, and convert readers or viewers. For presentations, you start by grabbing the attention of your audience then move to building their interest.

When that’s done, you strive to make an emotional connection. This will eventually lead to positive response.

How exactly does AIDA work? Let’s break down each component of the method to see how it can improve your sales pitch:

A – Attention

Set up your presentation by introducing the problem your product or service can solve. Be creative with your approach. You can do it by describing a hypothetical scenario your audience can relate with. You can also start with shocking statistics. If you’re feeling brave, try integrating humor through a short anecdote. Another thing you can do is to ask your audience a thought-provoking question.

I – Interest

With your audience hooked, it’s time to dig a little bit deeper. Talk about the special features of your product or service. Provide them with information that’s backed by proof. If your product allows it, give your audience a short demonstration. This is your chance to impress your audience with case studies and facts gathered through research. The key is to build a strong case.

D – Desire

This step of the AIDA method is closely related to the previous one. After you sustain interest with hard facts, you have to generate a strong emotional connection. You want your audience to realize that you have the best solution to their problems. Continue explaining the features of your product or service, but frame the discussion in a way that’s a bit more personalized for your audience. Explain the advantages of your offer, and how that could benefit them. You can also show them a video of testimonials from relatable clients and customers.

A – Action

If you were able to sustain interest and create an emotional connection, the last step of the AIDA method will be easy to accomplish. After you’ve convinced your audience that your product/service is something they need, persuade them to take action. Take inspiration from advertisers who use a sense of urgency in their commercials. For your presentation, give the audience a call to action that’s straight to the point.

 

Reference

What Is AIDA?About.com Money. Accessed August 19, 2014.

 

Featured Image: Flazingo Photos via Flickr