It’s 2018, and by rough count, I’ve sat through a thousand sales presentations. Most of them have blurred together in my mind. What stands out? The exceptionally good ones…or the cringingly bad ones. Your prospect may not have seen quite as many as me, but they likely struggle to recall most of them as well. Why does this matter?
Boring, forgettable presentations are unsuccessful presentations.
Why are today’s presentations so forgettable?
In a day and age where we know so much about our prospects, from their interests and dislikes, to their challenges and goals, it seems surprising that most presentations are still so ineffective. Part of the problem is that most salespeople today are still following a presentation structure that has been around since the seventies (even though many of today’s prospects were not even alive in the seventies!) This dated, ineffective structure includes too many elements that are unnecessary, irrelevant, or simply redundant to your prospect.
It’s time to let go of tired yawn-inducing elements in your presentation. Make 2018 the year you embrace a more contemporary approach that differentiates you from the competition and sets you up for success. Here are 5 ways you can shake up your sales presentation.
5 Ways to Shake up your Sales Presentation in 2018
1. Drop the Company Overview
It’s critical that you get the first few minutes of your presentation right. Buyers are forming first impressions and making major decisions about you and your solution. Yet most presenters choose to start off their presentation by talking about, sigh, their own company. Research proves that today’s buyers don’t care – or, they’re already familiar with – this information. It’s a big disconnect right out of the gate.
Instead: Make the first few minutes of your presentation all about the customer. Review their situation, set objectives and preview a benefit or insight which you will expand on later.
2. Reimagine your Agenda
A boring overview is often followed by a boring agenda. While agendas can provide great value, the typical list of product features or names that serves as most agendas, does nothing but confuse or bore busy prospects. And, presenters often refer to them once, leaving the buyer to wonder where they are in this long, tedious journey.
Instead: Make your agenda customer-focused by using topics that describe your prospect’s issue or business process, not your product. Make sure you refer back to your agenda after completing each section, using that opportunity to reinforce key points.
3. Relocate the Customer’s Situation
Presenters typically address the customer’s situation 5, 10 or even 20 minutes into the presentation! Unfortunately, this is much too late in the game. Your buyer’s attention is at a low point and you’ve already established that you’re no different than any other vendor.
Instead: Place the customer’s situation up front and center. Review it with your customer to remind them why they need to talk to you! Reconfirm their challenges and objectives to make sure that you are on the right track before you launch into your presentation.
4. Stop the Feature Frenzy
The goal of most sales presentations or demos appears to be to show as many features and capabilities as time allows. Unfortunately, the greater goals of clarity and relevance are lost – and so is the prospect.
Instead: Focus on a few key features that directly impact your prospect’s current situation. Avoid getting deep into how a feature or process works. Instead, focus on connecting the dots between a feature and how it will help your customer achieve his goals.
5. Amp up your Close
The close is often the least prepared and most awkward part of every sales presentation. Presenters tend to either abruptly “stop,”, or simply “whimper” to a finish. Both fail to inspire confidence, reinforce key messages, or move the sale forward.
Instead:Use the end of your presentation to recall the objectives you set out at the beginning. Summarize key points you want your prospect to remember. If you’ve delivered a compelling case, don’t let this feel good moment simply fizzle out! Tell your buyer what you want them to do with a clearly defined and measurable next step. Click here for 5 ways to close your presentation on strong note.
While your buyer is likely to suffer through a boring presentation in silence, he will vote with his wallet. Shake up your sales presentation in 2018 by replacing ineffective elements with fresh, new strategies that work with today’s busy buyers!
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