Sales professionals are always looking for new ways to gain an edge over the competition. An often-overlooked area that salespeople fail to address are their presentation style and skill. However, the presentation can be where you make or break your chances of closing the deal. Here are five ways to win accounts by improving your core presentation skills.
“Some of the best presentations today include just an image and a word on each page of the power point. It creates curiosity and gives you the undivided attention of your audience. It also gives you an opportunity to white board any work flows to help keep the audience engaged. Think of the power of TED Talks when your creating your winning presentation!” says Marybel Discala, Digital Marketing Leader, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.
Know Your Audience
If you have a long sales cycle, you probably know your prospects pretty well by the time you reach the presentation stage. Use the information you’ve gleaned to tailor your presentation to their specific attitudes, level of sophistication, personality, and of course, their needs. If you’ve got a short sales cycle this can be a bit of a challenge, but if you really listen to your prospects, you can infer those factors from your interactions, even if they have been brief up to this point. Even if you don’t feel like you “know” a prospect, you should know their challenges, so use that as your anchor.
Test, Test, Test
It should go without saying that you should always test your presentation before you head out the door, but it’s easy to become complacent. Make testing part of your preparations any time you’re giving a presentation. First, run through it one final time to make sure you’re hitting all of the prospect’s priorities and pain points and to ensure a logical, natural flow.
Make sure that your technology is in good working order and that everything is set up the way you want it. Carry an extra copy on a flash drive just in case, and always print out more copies of the presentation than you think you need. If you should experience some type of massive technological failure, you don’t want to be caught unprepared.
Some salespeople get so married to the flow and cadence of their presentation that they discourage or even forbid prospects to interject until the presentation has wrapped. This is a mistake. You are not the most important person in the room during a presentation, the prospect is. If you notice someone looks like they might have a question based on a facial expression or gesture, encourage them to ask it. Whatever is on their mind is extremely important, and it could provide you with an opportunity to address an issue you didn’t know they had or to overcome an objection early on.
Keep It Concise
You’re probably thoroughly enthusiastic about the products or services you sell, but don’t let that excitement turn into a rambling presentation. Prospects are taking time away from their important daily tasks to listen to you, and if you drone on too long, they will lose interest and start watching the clock or worse – cut you off. Keep your presentation as short as possible by hitting the most beneficial aspects of your offering that speak directly to the prospect’s challenges. They don’t care about anything except how you can address their needs.
An effective presentation technique – and a technique that keeps prospects listening to you – is to ask them for feedback along the way. Asking questions like, “Does this make sense for your current situation,” and “Could you see this applying to you,” prompts the listener to offer their approval or to provide you with key information as to why the product or service might not align with their needs. As you get approving statements, you’re moving towards a “yes,” and when they tell you something doesn’t make sense, it allows you the time to address their reservations while you still have their attention.
Is your organization seeking sales professionals with strong presentation skills? The expert sales recruiters at Contemporary Staffing Solutions CSS can help. Whether you need to attract and retain top sales talent or sales managers, contact CSS ProSearch today.