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6 Tips for Preparing and Delivering a Knockout Sales Presentation

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6 Tips for Preparing and Delivering a Knockout Sales Presentation

By Caron_Beesley, Contributor
Published: December 22, 2011 Updated: March 2, 2012

Most of us in our business lives are required to deliver some form of presentation, and most of us breathe a deep sigh of relief when it’s over, when spotlight is off and we can sit back down.

But if your business success hangs on your ability to deliver a knockout sales presentation, then it’s worth spending some time refining and perfecting your technique.

Here are some tips for upping the ante and going beyond a one-way sales presentation by assessing your delivery, building rapport, using alternatives to PowerPoint, and finding a way to make your product or service fit the customer’s need.

1. Step Back and Evaluate your Presentation Skills

To help determine how you are doing today and where there may be room for improvement, follow these steps for evaluation your presentation skills:

  • Get Objective Feedback - Take a colleague or mentor along to your presentation meetings over a period of a couple of weeks and ask them to review your performance. A simple analysis of your strengths and weaknesses is all you need, along with a discussion about where you can improve.
  • Listen or Watch Yourself – One of the most effective ways to gauge and address your presentation skills is to record yourself delivering a mock presentation to other people. Use Skype, webinar software, or a video camera to capture a typical presentation and play it back. This is a technique commonly used by professional presentation training companies because it captures the critically important elements of a presentation – posture, voice, gesture, tone, and confidence. You’ll be surprised at how effective it is. Use the feedback and your own self-assessment to address your weaknesses and build on your strengths, and repeat the process once a week.

2. Do Your Research First

Each customer and each sale is unique, so be sure to do your research so you can effectively tie your presentation to the customer’s needs and establish a rapport based on a mutual understanding of their challenges and goals. Your research should include a review of the customer’s competition, their market, as well as any media, coverage that relates to industry trends or customer news. If they are active on social media, follow them and read their blogs.

3. Tailor your Presentation to Your Audience

You probably have a canned sales presentation for each product, product suite, and so on. But consider tailoring it to the profile and needs of each customer. In addition to using the research you have gleaned to tailor your delivery, be sure to ask ahead who it is you will be talking to and adjust your presentation accordingly. For example, a technical audience will have different priorities and needs than will senior business management.

4. Ditch the Hefty Slide Deck – Less is More

Instead of using 50 slides to pitch your product, keep your slide deck brief. It should really only be a frame of reference for the key points you need to communicate and the story you want to tell. Too much information and you lose your audience and any chance of building rapport. Likewise, snipping copy and relying too heavily on bullet points will break down and confuse the story you are trying to tell. Instead, refer back to your research, tie your customer’s needs and challenges to the points on the slides, ask questions, include examples, and focus the presentation on the room and those in it, not on your slide deck.

5. Go beyond PowerPoint with Web Presentation Tools

Remember: PowerPoint doesn’t have to be your one and only go-to presentation tool. There are many free and low-cost web-based alternatives that can take you beyond bullet point slides to create dynamic presentations you can take and access anywhere. Examples include Google Docs Presentation, Prezi (a very cool alternative to PowerPoint that will certainly keep all eyes from wandering to their Blackberries), SlideRocket, and more.

If you have the budget, you can also take advantage of mobile tablets to dynamically showcase product demos, client video testimonials, and more.

6. Be Yourself

Once you are comfortable with your material and confident of your delivery, don’t forget to let yourself shine through.  Above all, don’t read what’s on the screen; your eyes should be on the audience. Being genuine and personable is critical to gaining customer trust.

Good luck!

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About the Author:

Caron Beesley

Contributor

Caron Beesley is a small business owner, a writer, and marketing communications consultant. Caron works with the SBA.gov team to promote essential government resources that help entrepreneurs and small business owners start-up, grow and succeed. Follow Caron on Twitter: @caronbeesley

Comments:

6 tips I'm quite rewarding implemented to perform an exhibition for his upcoming businesses. Thank you for sharing.
I've always loved business and I learned about marketing online is anyone show me this
Thanks Carol for inspiring article. I learned a lot. I would add that if you really want to take your business to the next level, I suggest to use a professional. I worked with Randy Taylor- taylormadeleadership.com - A Canadian keynote speaker that helped me take my small business to the next level. I highly recommend him.
If you have the budget, you can also take advantage of mobile tablets to dynamically showcase product demos, client video testimonials, and more.
One of the most important thing above presentations is that you have to establish a connection with the people listening to the presentation. Meaning we have to get their interests so that we can convince them about what we are presenting.
A good presentation is really important in any kind of image as it would set the mood for a good image. As of now we are embracing modern day presentation through powerful and modern tools using computer giving a precise and more stylistic presentation but then as strongly pointed up on this post all about well thorough research is important for a smooth and well delivered presentation. Homes in the Philippines
When working at FedEx we had a really good course where they video taped you presenting then you critiqued yourself then did a chapter on a method such as "use of hands" it was a great way to self improve by actually watching what you did.
The topic which you have discussed is very informative as well as valuable for all...Thanks for providing this information for us....I am really pleased to post my comment on this blog. It helped me with ocean of knowledge so I really believe you will do much better in the future. Good job! well water test kits
Long presentations are really boring and honestly I would not bother reading it. It is important to only include important terms and just explain it one by one rather than reading it all. SEO Company Philippines
Thanks for the tips. Also, I agree with all the tips you've included.. Research is very important and making the presentation brief. Long presentations sometimes bores your audience and they'll most likely not listen. Also, try to ask for audience participation, thus making the presentation more lively. And lastly, don't forget to relax and be yourself. Conducting presentations my sometimes be nerve cracking yet enjoyable. Apartment for Rent Philippines

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