Our live webinar series is motoring through summer, with the fast-paced and information-packed “How to Give a Great Sales Presentation, Small Business-Style!” This webinar focuses on 4 key areas of giving a presentation: Audience, Content, “The Nerves”, and Was It Good?
The Audience: Tailor Your Presentation’s Message for Different Groups You need to know who your audience is and what they care about so that you can present information to them that’s relevant and useful. If you don’t know about your audience and what’s relevant and useful for them…find out! You can learn this information by:
- Attending the event yourself (if possible)
- Asking the organizers about the people who will be attending and what they’re likely to want to hear about.
- Showing up early talk to people prior to your presentation about why they’ve come and what they’d like to hear from you. A sales presentation should signal to your audience that you understand their core values and that your own core values align with theirs.
If you can’t connect with your audience on that emotional level, your audience is unlikely to buy from you. Remember – sales are emotional!
The Content: The Importance of the Beginning and the End. When you’re planning presentation content, pay special attention to the beginning and the end – they serve important functions! The beginning should contain the ” hook” that catches peoples’ interest.
A good hook has several characteristics:
- It is very clear and simple
- It has some sort of number or return on investment (investment being time spent watching the presentation.)
- It draws people in by asking a question or telling a story. Your hook may be your only chance to get peoples’ attention, so be sure it’s effective!
The end of your presentation is a chance to invite the audience to take a concrete, reasonable next step – nothing too big, but something that indicates their interest in what you have to offer.
- Pick up your business card on the way out
- Schedule a phone call or coffee date with you to chat about their needs
- Stay after for a few moments to see a quick demo of your software or website.
Pro tip: You should never have to say “Thank you” to indicate that your presentation is over. It should be clear to the audience!
The Content: Benefits versus Features
It’s natural to want to tell your audience all about the features that make your product or service is the best on the market. Instead, tell your audience why it *matters* that your product can do what it does, and why it’s important that a job be done just the way that your company can do it for them. Convince them to hire you by telling them the benefits of doing so!
Consider how you might use the following as you present benefits:
- Emotional words to further capitalize on the power of talking about benefit.
- Vocal intonation and body movements to break up the conversation
- Moments that “pop!” to emphasize points that you want your audience to remember.
You want to make an emotional appeal with your presentation because (say it with me!) sales are emotional!
The Nerves: No Big Deal
Everyone gets a little nervous about speaking in front of groups – don’t worry, there are ways to work through it! Use these techniques when your nerves start to get the better of you:
- Be sure that you’ve practiced enough before the presentation – most people need to practice between 7 and 20 times.
- Show up first and be in the room as everyone arrives, and even talk to people a bit if that’s possible, so you can feel in control of the room and the audience can see you feeling confident and ready.
- Just before you start, exhale and force all the air out of your diaphragm and allow it to refill (the opposite of taking a deep breath, which may cause you to hyperventilate.) Then go in and own it! You’ve got this!
Was It Good? How You Can Tell
You don’t need a lot of training or a fancy post-presentation audience questionnaire to evaluate how your presentation went. There are standard indicators of audience interest and engagement that you can monitor even as you’re presenting:
- People interrupt you to ask question as you’re presenting – Questions about implementation and logistics are an especially strong sign of interest.
- Body language – Engaged people will lean in, maintain eye contact, nod and smile (although body language in a business-to-business sales presentation can be trickier.
- People take action (even small ones) after the presentation – Even if it’s just someone taking a business card from your display table, congratulate yourself – you caught the person’s interest!
Now you need to follow up and move them along your sales funnel! We have lots of information about presentations on our website, and all our resources are available to small business owners on a pay-what-you-can basis! Sign up for an account and check us out!