Sales Presentations

Many sales people make fundamental errors in presenting to customers.  Firstly, they typically present too early in the sales process and therefore use their language to present all about their company and their product.  The problem with this is that it assumes that the customer is interested.  Without establishing the customer's needs first, most presentations will fail in their objective.   Secondly, most presentations fail to make an impression and don't provide the customer with the information that they need.

Think about how exciting the start of the first Star Wars film is (that’s A New Hope just in case you are wondering!)  There’s the dramatic music, the text scrolling into the distance and the background story in the text.  Who could fail to pay attention and be intrigued by what was coming next.

A great presentation tells a story, just like a great movie.  There’s a hero, there’s a complication and there’s a successful conclusion.  We all tell stories to our friends and colleagues and a great story is much easier to remember than a succession of facts.  A well written story inspires emotional reactions and emotions drive more decisions than logic.

Whenever you make a presentation, you need to grab your audience’s attention and, particularly if it is a long presentation, keep grabbing their attention.  There are various devices we use to do this, tell a story, use a picture or video to illustrate a particular point, use an analogy to make the audience think, ask them to remember something from their past.  Of course, you need to make sure that it is relevant to your subject and is appropriate for your audience.

Immediately after you have grabbed their attention, you need to tell them the most important thing that you want them to remember.  People are much more likely to remember what they heard first in a presentation than what they hear last.  Your main message, which for a sales presentation should be why your product is perfect for the customer, should come immediately after you have everyone’s attention. 

Finally, the presentation should conclude with the proof that you can do what you are claiming, either by demonstrating the product, presenting a case study or similar.  You client should have emotionally bought into the idea but will still want to back up their decision with some logic. 

Great presentations don’t happen without preparation and practice.  They need to be created well in advance of the delivery date and then rehearsed.  Any new presentation will require some refinement to get right. 

In this training, everyone gets the opportunity to make a number of presentations, each of which is videoed to allow participants to review their own performance.  Feedback is also provided on presentation style although we believe that everyone has their own style and that it is important to embrace that rather than try to force an unnatural behaviour on anyone.