If your salespeople use presentations to sell your product/solution/service, then please read this, because you’ll hit your number faster.
Rule of thumb 1: Your salesperson should only be using a presentation AFTER they’ve had a discovery conversation(s) that has led to the customer sharing their challenges/objectives and outcomes they want to achieve. And your salesperson should have asked what the $ difference will be between current and future state. Ideally, they should also determine the Personal Win of each stakeholder is.
The title of the presentation should be the summation of the discovery conversation(s). Examples;
- $25M by 2020
- 30% Growth: More @bats with Net New Clients
- Competitively Distinct Business Conversations: Drive 1% to 2% Additional Revenue Growth
Rule of thumb 2: Begin with your presentation with your End in Mind. What action do you want your customer to commit to that is appropriate for where theyyou are in the sales cycle? Precondition the presentation for success by openly sharing your End in Mind at the beginning of the presentation. That way the customer will know what is being asked of them. Example:
- End in Mind: For you to decide which region you’d like to rollout first.
Rule of thumb 3: STOP opening your slides with ‘About Us.’ Your customer is still deciding if they should do different (why change) and why they should do so now. Telling them about you up front is premature and should be left to the end of your presentation – or just talked to. Starting your presentation with “we have been in business X years,” “we have X locations,” “we have revenues of X,” “we have X customers” is “weewee.” Customers don’t like being “weewee’d” on. Trust me on that.
Rule of thumb 4: When was your presentation template updated? Many of the large enterprises I’ve worked with look like their presentations were made back in the 80’s. Update them to current look and feel. Otherwise your presentation will appear ‘tired’ and your clients will want to work with a company that has fresh, new ideas.
Rule of thumb 5: Your presentations are summaries – not a detailed script of your conversation. Learn to “chunk up and “chunk down” ideas into logical sequences – Main Idea + 3 to 5 supporting ideas on separate slides. Human beings can only take in up to 7 pieces of information at one time. Too many presentations have too much detail. Those are reports, not presentations.
Rule of thumb 6: Structure the presentation within a logical framework. The “why change,” “why now,” “why choose us” framework has been proven to be highly effective at building a brilliant sales/case for change story around.
Rule of thumb 7: Close out your presentation by re-visiting your end in mind: Ask for the decision to that you preframed earlier to be taken. Your customers, especially real decision makers, will love you for it as they hate sitting through presentations with no ending or decision. Take that to the bank.
Rule of thumb 8: There isn’t one. Human beings can only ingest up to 7 pieces of info at one time. See Rule of thumb 5.
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