Salespeople know their presentation techniques can make or break their careers. They know they need to make a powerful first impression and convey their message well. But when you're in the middle of your sales presentation, how do you know if you're hitting all the marks? How do you know if your presentation scores a 10 out of 10? Here are some presentation technique metrics to track to make the sale.
If your presentation gets off to a strong start, you get the buyer on your side immediately. Begin with a startling piece of information or an unexpected image. Don't feel you have to warm up, but dive into your presentation immediately.
Make It Visual
Studies show that people remember what they see more than what they hear. Provide visuals for your strongest pieces of data, the ones you want your buyer to remember. Choose your visuals carefully, limiting them for maximum impact.
Keep It Simple
As you work with your visuals, don't overdo the images. Simple, clean images that provide one piece of information at a time make the strongest impression. Don't show cluttered PowerPoints, but reduce your images until they convey your message precisely and clearly.
Don't Say What You Show
If you include text with your visuals, don't read it out loud at the same time. Your buyers are likely to get bored or feel you're wasting their time — after all, they can read. The simplest way to avoid this pitfall in your presentation techniques is avoiding the use of bullet-pointed lists in your visual aids.
It's easy to chant "The customer is always right" and move on. But how do you know what the customer is right about if you aren't listening? A great salesperson uses all the presentation techniques at her disposal to tailor her message to each customer. Listen to your customer to understand what he really needs and wants.
Focus on Outcomes
Point out the accomplishments you've already achieved, especially if you and the buyer have some history together already. Point forward to new achievements and outcomes the buyer can expect. Direct your buyer's eyes toward the bottom line in terms of cost, efficiency, productivity or whatever metric matters most to your customer.
Keep it Short
Customers' attention tends to drift after about 10 minutes. If you need to make a more lengthy sales presentation, tweak your presentation techniques to let you break your spiel up into 10-minute chunks. Turn off the PowerPoint to address the customer directly, pause for questions or find another way to shift the tone of the presentation.
After each presentation you make, go over this list of presentation techniques to see where you succeeded and where you can still improve. Don't let your presentation remain static, but tweak it each time you do it to tailor it for the specific customer and to hone your overall set of presentation techniques. As your presentation becomes sharper over time, you'll realize you're consistently hitting that elusive 10 out of 10.
Photo courtesy of Aleksa D at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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