So many of us confuse the journey with the destination when making sales presentations. Think of increasing customer interest (and ultimately landing a sale) as your destination and the sales presentation the car you drive on the way there. Of course you want to start by driving a nice car then you’ll figure out when to speed up, when to stop for gas, when to pull over and do some sightseeing, and when to park it in the driveway.
Have you ever been in the middle (or, sadly, at the start or end) of a sales presentation and felt like you’ve stalled and are just churning out noxious fumes that are killing your audience’s attention span? There’s no reason it should be that way. Like I said, presentations are a means to an end, not a destination.
If you want to keep your prospect’s attention put the following into practice STAT (and start using Spiro):
Have a Well-Defined Goal
Always know what the next step is for your customer. If you’re pleasantly surprised by achieving it earlier on than predicted stop the presentation. Wrap up early – everyone will appreciate it.
And if things aren’t going well, don’t be afraid to veer from the script and always be ready to take it to the next level. It’s your canvas, use all the colors in your palette and show some personality.
Engage Early And Often
Right at the beginning of the presentation, ask your audience why they’re there and what they want to learn at the get-go. This reinforces goals for the audience and keeps them engaged. It also helps clients connect the dots between their organization and your product or expertise.
Ask A Lot Of Questions During The Presentation
It will help people pay more attention and engage as well as enforce the critical “why should I care” factor. A good trick is getting everyone’s name on a sign-in sheet and calling on random people by name – it sounds ruthless, but it’s effective. Once you call one out, you’ll have the attention of all. No one wants to be caught looking clueless — remember grade school guys?
People Buy From People
Studies have proven over and over again that many business deals are made on emotion – do I like this guy or girl? Do I feel like I can trust him or her? Don’t be afraid to share some personal anecdotes about yourself and your experiences with the room. It will make a huge difference because, honestly, who wants to buy from a machine? As long as you’re equipped with your hard facts and figures don’t be afraid to open up a bit. People will remember you.
Always Be Scanning The Room
You have two jobs when making the presentation: obviously hitting your talking points, but also being sure to watch how people are reacting. Use their reactions and body language to guide the presentation. Take control of the moment — don’t just rush through what you’ve prepared.
As we noted, stop when you hit your goal. If you see that you’ve hit that sweet spot don’t hesitate to stop your presentation. You’ve been taking questions and a passionate organic conversation has just broken out in the audience? Harness it and take control. Let the slide burn into the screen; pull up a chair and bring everyone back around to why your product is the right one for them.
Keep these points in mind and you should be hitting high notes in no time. Just remember, you’re not just there to give a sales presentation, you’re there to sell, sell, sell. Put your back into it and soon you’ll be driving that NSX.
2016 Acura NSX photo courtesy of Wikipedia.