Schools Training

The Presentation of a Lifetime

14 AUG 2012
Career Path : Sales

This article discusses the importance of good presentations in sales. It gives examples on how to begin a presentation, then offers some points of advice for preparing, delivering and following-up on a presentation.


1) How often have you been convinced by a sales pitch based on a strong presentation?


2) The ideal length of time for a presentation is 20 minutes.


3) There once was a salesperson who unloaded his entire stock after a great presentation.


The above three sentences are not only about presentations, but they illustrate three of the most effective ways to open a presentation: Ask a question, give some data, or tell an anecdote. The presentation is indeed a fundamental part of selling. Capturing your audience, gaining their interest and trust, and most importantly, informing them about the product or service being sold are the main points of this tool. To be a great salesperson is sometimes to be a great performer. Once you have broken the ice with one of the above mentioned openers, what are some of the important factors to follow up with?


Firstly, know your audience. Do your research as to the specific wants, needs, hopes and worries about whom you are selling to. This will not only give you an edge in selling by catering to your clients’ unique situation, but will show the client that you care enough about them to take the time to learn their point of view.


Secondly, organization is key. Know what the most important part of your message is in selling and make that a clear priority from the outset. Otherwise, clients may feel misled once you get down to the actual selling if you haven’t been clear from the beginning, and this will jeopardize your trustworthiness.


Thirdly, anticipate any comments, questions or concerns you may get during or after your presentation. Being prepared demonstrates confidence in your product or service. Any worthwhile sales training will teach the salesperson to put themselves in the clients’ shoes, and this is precisely what you do in anticipating feedback.


The next thing to consider is how you present. Be careful not to lecture blindly, but rather engage the audience so that they feel included and not as if they are being talked-down to. Win them over with a great opening line, keep them interested with questions, stories, or even jokes. Have a clear and confident conclusion so people know when you have made your point.


Finally, what do you do after a presentation? If you’ve made guarantees, make sure to make good on them. If you’ve promised anything, then deliver. Getting feedback from both the audience as well as through a third party, like your company’s customer service department, is a great way to gauge the effectiveness of your presentation and to constantly improve upon it in the future.


Practice makes perfect, and this is especially true for the dramatist as it is for the salesperson. Signing up for sales courses will give you the time to practice giving presentations and the environment to get the right feedback. Once you’ve gained the confidence to get up in front of a room of people and pitch your product or service, it is time to get that proverbial foot in the door to an audience of potential clients.



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