You’ve had the initial sales meeting, gathered the information needed, and scheduled the second meeting to present your great solution. So, does your presentation really have what it takes to get the job done? 10 presentation must-haves:
1. OBJECTIVE: Know the purpose of the meeting, the specific benefits you want to highlight, the method of highlighting them and how you want the next step to be defined. You won’t be able to judge how the meeting really went if you didn’t have an outcome in mind to begin with.
2. AGENDA: Whether it’s written, spoken, or both; the customer should know what the meeting will consist of and the primary topics of discussion. This will make it easier for them to follow along and retain the information because it has been presented in a clear, organized manner.
3. EARS: Don’t talk too much; the meeting should be an interactive conversation, not a lecture. Avoid robotic behavior when asking questions – relax, listen, and learn what your customer is telling you so you can understand how their message applies and what questions should be asked next. Go with the flow.
4. IMAGES: Paint them a picture with your words by telling memorable stories that are relevant to their situation and your solution. Referencing other customer’s stories will convey the material in a “real” way they can relate to.
5. CONNECTION: Create a strong connection with your customer on, both an intellectual and emotional level. Provide factual information and reason to connect to their intellect, while explaining the material in an imaginative way to connect to their emotions. Frequently using the words like “you” will strengthen the emotional connection even more.
6. ABSTRACT VIEW: Depending on your audience’s position within the company, adjust the explanation of your solution. Go “big picture” when presenting to the CEO. Give more details when presenting to management or technical users.
7. PAUSE: Suggesting a break or moment to have an open discussion about key points made thus far is a healthy way to help customers retain information and to provide you with feedback that may otherwise have been forgotten. It’s better to get things on the table while you’re in front of them.
8. EDIT: Pay attention to any meaningless, often times repetitive, words or phrases that you may be using such as “um”, “let’s see” or “put it this way.” Edit your verbal message so only the most powerful and important words are spoken. Make the message clear and memorable for the customer.
9. PUNCHLINE: Much like editing any repetitive words or phrases, the “punchline” involves identifying the most powerful words in your message and ending your sentences with them. For example, instead of saying “Let’s review the SOLUTION that I created for you,” say, “Let’s review the SOLUTION.”
10. OPEN & CLOSE: Begin and end your presentation with statements related to the customer’s organization, not your own. “Your company has been recognized for excellent customer care in XYZ journal. I’m going to demonstrate how my solution will not only support the existing level of care, but increase it by….”