So you’ve just talked a client into a pitch meeting and are that much closer to your first sale. Great! Now what?
Sales presentations are intimidating for sure, especially if you’re new. I’ve been there, so I know some of the questions you’re probably asking yourself: What should I say? How should I present myself? How do I convince the person to buy?
I’ve found that if you properly prepare your sales presentation, you have nothing to fear. Sure, you won’t land every fish — that’s true even for the best salesperson. But by making an effort beforehand, you’ll be taking an important first step in a successful sales career.
A good sales presentation is key to any sales strategy. If you’ve never put together a sales pitch deck before, this guide will take you through some presentation ideas and tried-and-true product pitch techniques so you’ll get it right the first time.
Overview: What is a sales presentation?
A sales presentation aims to persuade a customer or client that they should purchase a product or service. It can take many forms, such as a phone call, an in-person conversation, or a formal presentation in a group setting involving PowerPoint slides. A sales presentation may happen on-site at a place of business, or it could take place via teleconference.
How to make a captivating sales presentation
A winning sales presentation shows a sales lead the value of what you're selling and convinces them that the time is now to buy. Here are five steps to creating a sales presentation that will increase your chances of landing a customer.
1. Do your homework
Every good client presentation needs proper research beforehand, so be diligent in the preparation phase or you’ll risk falling flat on your face when it comes time to deliver it. Research the needs of a potential customer, the business landscape, the competition, the edge you have over others, the right pricing, and anything else that may factor in the customer’s decision. Identify where your product or service adds value.
Quick tip: In my sales pitch presentations, I always try to tailor the message directly to that customer rather than to a group of customers. What does that customer care about? Why did they agree to listen to your presentation? If you can answer those questions, you can adjust your presentation for maximum effect.
2. Set the table
The next step is to make sure everything is set up for maximum success. Be sure that decision-makers are in the room during the presentation. That way, you don’t get all the way through your pitch only to hear at the end, “That was great. Let me talk to my boss about it.”
Once you’re sure you’ve got the right people, focus on building a relationship rather than trying to get to a sale as quickly as possible. Develop rapport with them through common connections and background.
Quick tip: Be as natural and off-the-cuff as possible. I’ve found clients connected much better when I didn’t deliver a rehearsed, wooden sales pitch but instead relied on my knowledge of the product and my general sense of the room to turn it into almost a conversation — one I steered closer to a sale at every opportunity.
3. Use an interactive dynamic
A sales presentation should not be a one-way conversation with the prospect. Make it an interactive one that helps your client learn more about the product while also making them feel heard and understood. Ask questions of the client to get closer to what their needs are. Get the client to invest in the process through the presentation. Resist the urge to talk and listen more.
Quick tip: Encourage objections. Salespeople don’t like to hear a customer tell them why they’re hesitant to buy, but this information is gold because it gives you a problem you can solve. By exploring customer objections and dealing with them, I’ve found I’m more likely to make a sale.
4. Brainstorm some questions
A good pitch presentation is all about the questions you ask, so make sure they’re the right ones. Understand the client’s motives for purchase and their decision-making process and adapt accordingly based on their responses to your questions. Take notes during the presentation to make sure that if they need further information, you’ll be able to provide it.
Quick tip: Ask for the sale often. Many salespeople try to get to the end of the presentation when they may have already convinced the client early on. At several points during the presentation, ask the customer, “Have I provided enough information for you to make a decision?” If not, simply proceed with your presentation.
5. Prepare rebuttals
When you’ve put together your sales presentation with the basic pitch and the questions to ask the client, prepare for rebuttals you’re likely to receive. Understand the obstacles your client is likely to raise before you go into the meeting. By being prepared for them, you’re more likely to
respond respectfully and answer the objections honestly. Collaborate with the client to come up with a win-win solution so you can both walk away from the meeting feeling like it was a success.
Quick tip: Practice different closing techniques. Once you have answered all objections, you should be ready to close the deal. Many different closing techniques are available to choose from, so identify a few that seem best suited for your type of customer and practice them. I’ve found that practice makes the close less intimidating and therefore it’s easier to ask for the sale.
3 tips and tricks to close after your sales presentation
In addition to the steps above, here are three additional sales tactics and presentation techniques to increase your chances of success with your presentation.
1. Appeal to emotions
As much as we want to believe purchasing is a rational decision, most of the time you buy that sleek motorcycle or that beautiful dress because of the feeling it sparks inside you. Use that to your advantage.
Capture the imagination of your customers in your pitch and zero in on why they would want your product. For example, they’re not buying four wheels and an engine; they’re buying something that will take them on a family road trip, to a friend’s wedding, or to their next dream job.
Recognize that typical practical considerations such as budget constraints don’t always factor in. We all bust our budgets when we see something we really want, and we resolve to fix the budget later.
2. Watch your words
The words you use in your presentation matter. Be persuasive with your word choice but don’t be overly aggressive, which risks turning off the customer. On the flip side, don’t be too timid either. The customer needs you to lead them to the sale. Don’t be afraid to push when appropriate. Feel out your customer during the presentation to determine when the time might be right to ask for a purchasing decision.
3. Follow up
You won’t always land the deal right then and there, and even if you do, it’s still good to follow up. Seek to form long-term relationships with your prospects. Act like a consultant, shaping the process to meet your customer’s needs to close the deal. By building this relationship with your customer, you ensure future sales as well as good referrals that could lead to new customers.
Software will jump-start your sales career
Are you a little intimidated by the sales world? Don't worry, you'll get the hang of it. And thankfully, lots of CRM software options will help you get organized as a sales professional. These software platforms have tools that will organize your contacts list, generate leads, help you visualize where your prospects sit in the sales pipeline, and assist you with crafting a better presentation.
But not every software option is right for you. Try a few of them out before settling on one. With the best sales tools at your disposal, you'll be closing deals in no time.