Let’s spend a moment cracking open your sales presentation. Does it start with how great your company is? Or perhaps how many awards and customer logos your company has acquired? Or maybe how fast your company’s growth is, your funding sources, or how successful your management team has been?
If so (and believe me, you’re not alone), your sales presentation has a vanity problem – and it’s probably costing you deals. In fact, over the last 20 years, it’s never ceased to amaze me how many sales presentations still have an ego.
Because let’s face it, your prospect doesn’t want to hear how great you are: They want to hear how great you’ll be at making them successful. And spending their valuable time chest thumping, rather than using that time to demonstrate you really understand their pain, and proving how you can solve it, is valuable time wasted. In fact, it's often one of the biggest missed opportunity's for really differentiating your product and services, and building trust.
So let’s make the shift from putting your company and products at the center of your sales presentation, to putting your customer at the center.
Here are my six golden rules for creating a successful sales presentation.
- Keep it brief. Yep, it’s true – people don’t like to sit through an hour of slides, with little interaction. Try cutting your presentation down to 10 slides or less – and have every slide as an opportunity to ask questions, keep it interactive, and drive engagement. And it goes without saying, the less text the better.
- Start with the pain, and then tell them how you can help. Lead with the pain your audience faces (preferably tailored based on a brief chat with them) - the big drivers, and how you can help - and I mean really help (i.e. metrics, not with vague old benefits bullets).
- Know your audience. Ensure your sales presentation is role and industry tailored. Because being too general signals the prospect that you really don’t understand (or worse still, don’t truly care) about their needs.
- Bring your customer stories to life, and tell memorable stories of success. Customer stories can be amazing - the most powerful part of your presentation - in fact they can be what your prospect remembers most – bring them to life through storytelling and imagery (but make sure it's tailored to your audience!).
- Try and keep the product stuff to a short real demo. Because people don't buy and use slides, they buy and use products. The more you show slides about your products, the more it looks like you don't have the confidence in your products. Showing product shows confidence. Use it to prove your benefits.
- Save your company chest thumping to last (and keep it brief) – What it's really about is using that time to ensure the prospect has confidence you can deliver on the stories and promise of success that you have shared - i.e. even when you talk about your company, it's still about your customer!
If you’d like help rethinking your corporate, sales, or product presentations, ping me and I can help!