By Ashish Arora
A sales presentation is a defining moment for your organization. If all goes well, you’re likely to seal the deal with multiple prospects. If it doesn’t go as well as you’d hope, that precious window of opportunity may slam shut, never to be opened again.
Without question, a solid sales presentation will illustrate the value of your product or service and keep your audience engaged. A weak presentation, on the other hand, will leave your audience confused, bored and thinking about lunch.
To get your next sale, here are seven powerful presentation techniques that will help you convert.
1. Know thy audience
The presenters that try to sell their audience won’t be very successful. The presenters that try and help their audience solve a problem will be wildly successful.
In order for you to help your audience, you have to take some time to get to know them first. This means going beyond basic demographics to truly understanding what pains they have. What keeps them up at night? What information do they need to move forward in their life or business?
Once you know what challenges your audience is facing, you’ll be able to position your products or service as their ideal solution.
2. Customize your presentation
You know your audience and are certain your organization offers the perfect solution to their problem. Great. Now you’ve got to get that idea across to them in a way that is completely understandable and relevant.
When it comes to speaking to a specific audience, a one-size-fits-all cookie-cutter approach will not work. Spend some time following your audience on social media to see the kind of language they use and how they interact with each other. You are far more likely to connect with your audience if your presentation is 100% tailored to them.
3. Stay on point
The goal of your presentation is not to tell the audience every single thing you can think of—your goal is to get them interested enough that they come speak with you afterward.
People have short attention spans, so keep your presentation on the shorter side. Before the big day, go through your presentation, rehearse it, and think about what absolutely needs to be included and what can be taken out. As the old saying goes, “Leave ‘em wanting more.”
4. Define your specific goal
Obviously the goal of every company is to sell more. But the truth is, it generally takes more than one touch point to close a new customer; define what your specific goal needs to be for your presentation. Do you want your audience to:
- Schedule a demo?
- Set up a free trial?
- Get more information?
Once you have determined the specific goal of your presentation, you can develop your speech around it, making sure to only add relevant information that will get your audience to take the right action.
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5. Appeal to emotion
Emotions are what really sell. Logic is reserved for after an emotional decision has already been made. Emotions help you connect with your audience and help them internalize the benefits your solution offers.
For instance, luxury car companies play on your emotions. They know most people want their peers to see them as wealthy and successful. You buy a luxury car because of the perceived prestige it gives you. Only then do you even consider the horsepower or safety rating.
Storytelling is one way to harness the power of emotions and get buy-in from your audience. Using images and video in your presentation is another way to engage your audience emotionally.
6. Seek feedback
Here’s what you don’t want to do during your presentation: Go on and on as if you are having a one-way conversation. This will almost assuredly get people to tune you out. Not only that, but you’ll never know if you are being successful at getting people to get on the same page as you. Standing on stage and giving a monologue won’t help you look like an expert in your industry and it certainly won’t inspire people to do business with you.
One of the most effective sales presentation techniques is to get feedback throughout your presentation. This can be as simple as pausing and asking questions every once in a while like, “Did what I just say make sense?” or “Are you starting to understand how this could help your business?”
By offering up these engagement questions, you’ll create moments of genuine connection and keep people interested in what you’re offering.
This leads me to my final point…
7. Embrace interruptions
As I just mentioned, a presentation should not be thought of as a monologue. Selling is helping, and helping more often than not requires an interaction with the person you’re trying to help.
An interruption is a great thing, because it means people are listening to you and have questions. If they have questions, chances are other people in the audience have the same question. This is a wonderful opportunity for you to connect, pivot, and offer information that will help people see your product or service as the perfect solution.
Bonus tip: Use a closing phrase
Every direct response marketer knows they need to end every ad with a strong call to action. Every effective sales presentation needs to end with a strong closing phrase.
Refer back to technique #4–having a specific goal. What was it you wanted your audience to do after your presentation? Schedule a demo? Sign up for a free trial?
Don’t make you audience guess what you want them to do after your presentation; come right out and say it: “If you want to schedule your free demo, please come speak with me in the back.”
People make selling out to be much harder than it is. When you focus on helping people, finding out what their challenges are, and inviting them to have a true dialogue with you, you’ll naturally be able to close many more sales.
By following these sales presentation techniques, you’ll get into the habit of creating a presentation that inspires your audience to take the next steps with you.
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