A sales presentation is an essential part of the business process but creating a compelling one is still a struggle for many salespeople and entrepreneurs. Even if you have the best product in the market, if you are unable to communicate this to the client, your chances of closing the deal will be close to nil.
So how do you craft a brilliant sales presentation that can engage and convince your audience to accept your proposal? Following these simple yet effective techniques will help get you on the right track.
The best sales presentation is the presentation that makes it to the client meeting. Even if you have the flashiest, awe-inspiring sales deck – if you are unable to present it due to technical errors like incompatible file type, battery drain or worse, forgetting your laptop or USB stick, then all your efforts are down the drain.
Make sure that your presentation is in a format that can work in different operating systems like PCs, Macs, Android or IOS. This is often overlooked by a lot of sales managers especially if they have assigned a graphic artist to work on the sheets. Showing a presentation with missing photos, irregular fonts and lagging videos not only looks unprofessional but can also disrupt the flow of your pitch.
Test drive the presentation using different laptops or tablets. This gives you the flexibility to use whatever device is available to present at the moment.
Always make sure that you save a backup. Instead of storing your presentation in a USB drive, a more efficient and cost-effective way is using cloud storage on a laptop. This way, you’ll be able to download and access your presentation anywhere and anytime with an internet connection. You’ll never know when you’ll get that opportunity to pitch.
Having visually attractive sheets is one of the most essential elements that a sales presentation needs to have. This is because human beings process visuals 60,000 faster than text and only remember 20% of what they hear!
In designing your sales presentation, use visuals that can deliver your message in an instant. Here are some design elements you need to incorporate into your sheets.
A stunning cover slide
In sales presentations, first impressions matter. So the cover slide of your presentation must look clean, professional and must clearly communicate your pitch.
Avoid overused PowerPoint designs that everyone have seen before. If you are not particularly artistic or you do not have access to a graphic designer, a simple Google search can lead you to a website offering free templates that can give your presentation a visual upgrade.
Placing images next to an idea is a sure-fire way to get your point across. However, do not fall into the trap of just inserting overused business images like a city skyline or two men shaking hands. Make sure that the images you place are relevant to what you are pitching.
When choosing images, one tip is to assess each slide and ask yourself what the message you want to tell your client at that specific point of the presentation is. Then, select an image that would visualise that emotion. It can be funny, emotional or endearing but make sure that it is related to what you are actually talking about.
Uncrowded, Clear Text
A sales presentation is different from a brochure so you do not need to crowd all the product and company information available to you. If you overload your clients with too many texts, they are more likely to get confused and drop their attention.
Make sure that texts are readable and clear. Don’t use fancy fonts or colours that are difficult to read and understand.
“You’ve got 10 minutes…”
Sounds familiar? You will encounter clients at many times in your sales career that would only give you a couple of minutes to say your piece. So if you take too long in your introduction, your time will be up before you even get to the good stuff.
At the onset, clearly communicate why you’re there and what problem you’re trying to solve in the first 3 minutes of the presentation. This is usually called the “elevator pitch” which means that if you’re ever in an elevator with a client, you need to know how to present your product in less than the time it takes for your client to get out of an elevator.
Once you present your central idea, use the following slides to back it up with your research, stats and accompanying info that lends credibility to your offer. Avoid unnecessary details that will only create confusion.
In saying this, it is equally important to deliver your pitch in a story form that can captivate your audience. Don’t just state facts, rather create a story flow that will make the client relate to the problem you are trying to solve.
Having an amazing sales template is a great start but when you get the chance to present to a potential client, you have to customise the information to make it relevant to their specific concerns.
Research plays a big role in making this work. One of the best business books of all time, Sun Tzu’s ‘The Art of War’ teaches that you have to win the war before you fight. This means that even before the presentation, you have to be prepared about the potential questions that you may face.
For example, if you are trying to win new business, research about your client’s purchasing history. Find out who among your competitors are they currently using and why they are considering you as a replacement. This can help you address the gaps and put your business in a better bargaining position.
5. Strong Call to Action
At the end part of your presentation, clearly emphasise what you want the client to do next. Do not leave the presentation unsure of what they thought about your pitch. Ask them questions on what their concerns are and what else do they need to think about.
Try to answer their apprehensions so that you can close the deal. However, if this is not possible, you can take this opportunity to schedule a follow-up meeting or a product demo to further your proposal.
Closing the Deal
Whether you’re trying to secure a new investment, selling an original product or getting an innovative concept approved, having the perfect presentation can help you get closer to getting the deal closed. Integrating these elements in your presentation are useful ways of making that a possibility.
Nathan Sharpe is the entrepreneur behind Biznas. He knows that and you have to wear many different hats in order for your business to be a success. He helps others achieve this success by sharing everything he knows over on his blog, as well as any new lessons he learns along the way!