The sales presentation is normally perceived to be a challenging one by most presenters. This is because in addition to just getting the attention of the audience, the presenter needs to get action from them in the form of a sale.
The first step is to get your audience to pay attention to your presentation. There are different strategies to break their current pre-occupation.
One way is to start with a startling fact or statistic. For example, you could start by telling them that one out of three people in the room would suffer from a certain condition (for example, high cholesterol orosteoporosis) by a certain age. This has the effect of a “wake up call” to the audience.
Another strategy could be to start by asking the audience to answer a series of questions to unveil the myths that they are currently carrying about the topic.
This is your initial sale--which is to sell them the importance of your topic by paying attention.
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Once you got their attention,you must build the connection with them. This involves meeting them where they are currently with regards to their challenges,needs and problems and showing your expert understanding of their situation. This will pave the way for you to eventually lead them to take action in the final stage of your presentation.
A very simple but effective structure is the Problem-Solution approach.
Bring up their current pain by talking about the problem, which may include current fixes they have tried but did not work. In sales language, this is commonly known as “disturbing” the prospect.
In spite of the word use, the intent is actually positive. The reason is that quite often, people short term. However, this could eventually lead to an often undesirable outcome in the long term. The sales presenter’s job at this stage is to bring the buried pain into the forefront of the audience’s consciousness so that a proposed solution can be applied to overcome the problem.
At this stage, two common mistakes are commonly made,which you should avoid.
The first is to confuse features with benefits. Features are functionalities. Benefits are what those functionalities could do for the user. For example, when Steve Jobs first launched the iPod, he told the audience that it has a 20-minute skip protection feature. That was the feature or functionality. He then proceeded to tell them the “so what”, which means that they can use it for cycling, hiking and jogging and it won’t miss a beat. This was the benefit.
The second mistake is that presenters often just present the facts. Only factual information is presented. What is normally lacking is the use of feeling words. These are emotive words that bring up strong feelings for the audience so as to motivate and energise them to overcome their inertia and take action to solve their problems.
Very often, sales presenters are so enthusiastic about their products and solutions that they only talk about their advantages. What they forgot is the need to overcome the internal skepticism of their audience. This may include the presenter raising these common objections and then proceed to answering them in the presentation. Another alternative might be to compare the pros and cons of their solution with the competition to draw out strengths, weaknesses and trade-offs. This would serve to increase the presenter’s credibility.
Finally, a call to action caps the presentation. At this stage, you could highlight the before and after effects of using your solution or contrast the results of those who use your solution versus those who don’t. Make it easy for them to act. And remember: the sale is not about your product, but a brighter future for the customer.