You are competing for a major contract. All of the companies the being considered have great reputations, stellar client lists, and similar pricing structures. How do you craft and deliver your sales presentation to stand out as the clear choice amidst the competition? Here are some do’s and don’ts to be aware of:
DO open with, “Congratulations…” You will never go wrong congratulating a potential client on an accomplishment or recent success they have a right to be proud of. It could be, “Congratulations on winning this important contract…” “Congratulations, every single person who interacted with me on the way to this meeting greeted me and smiled; I can tell your core values are really at work…” Congratulations on your new advertising campaign; it is brilliant!”
DON’T open with “I am…” As you open of your sales presentation, you only have 30 seconds to grab your audience’s attention. “I am…” wastes two of them. Avoid the predictable opening, “Hi. I am Fred Smith. Let me introduce you to my team: Tom, Dick, and Harriett…” Ideally, you have met your audience before your presentation. Even if you have not, you must open with impact rather than a dull introduction. Until you connect with your audience, they really don’t care who you are.
DO use “you-focused” language. Prospects do not make the decision to buy based on the unique features or advantages of your product or service. Their decision is based on seeing an outcome that enables them to meet their goals or solve their problems. For example, if you were a design-build firm bidding on a major renovation you might say, “You have the amazing opportunity to take what is one of the best buildings in San Francisco and make it even better…” or “You have an important decision to make. Of all the companies who are proposing to help you, who is going to give you the most distinctive environment?” Notice you haven’t said “I” yet. This is all about them.
DON’T thank a prospect for their time. This isn’t necessarily bad, but everybody says this, including the copier salesperson. What you should do is thank your prospect for the opportunity to discuss how your company is the best choice to increase sales, cut costs, or solve their problem. For example, “Thank you for the opportunity to discuss how our marketing strategy can you help you make your company a brand leader.”
DO use the client’s own language. Never presume you can meet a prospect’s needs before you have invited them to tell you what their needs actually are. Do your homework in advance of your presentation. Ask your potential client to explain their concerns and goals. Listen to and note their responses. Then you will be able to incorporate the prospect’s own words into your presentation. If your client’s needs are not seen, or of no real interest to you, you will most likely lose the sale. When appropriate, use your prospect’s own words in your proposal. Clients never disagree with themselves.
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“How to Make a Sale by Making Your Questions Count,” “There Are No Shortcuts to Effective Sales Conversations,” “8 Steps to Structuring An Outstanding Sales Presentation,” and “How You Can Solve “Who Cares?” Syndrome in Your Sales Presentations” are just a few of the complimentary articles on Fripp.com to help you with your sales process and sales presentations.
Executive Speech Coach and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker Patricia Fripp is hired by individuals and companies who realize that powerful, persuasive presentation skills give them a competitive edge.