What is done cannot be undone, but at least one can keep it from happening again.
– Anne Frank
Would You Rather Bore Prospects or Wow Them?
Some salespeople like to hide behind the PowerPoint projector during their presentations. These folks deliver long-winded presentations that are packed with technical trivialities and useless features. What they fail to remember is that a PowerPoint presentation is nothing more than a tool for delivering benefits to the buyer. Here are ten common mistakes we’ve seen over the years:
- Mistake #1: Reading every word on every slide.Read the main idea on each slide and keep the presentation conversational.
- Mistake #2: Using too small a font size. A font size of 28 to 34 point is ideal.
- Mistake #3: Having more than 12 slides.If you have more than 12 slides, you’re trying to cram too much into your presentation.
- Mistake #4: Emphasizing everything.Select the three to five main points you most want your client to glean.
- Mistake #5: Writing long sentences and paragraphs.Use bullet points and numbers as often as possible.
- Mistake #6: Including typos.Have two people proof your presentation for mistakes.
- Mistake #7: Creating slides that lack color contrast.Make it easy for your buyer to read the slides. Dark backgrounds with white letters or light backgrounds with dark letters are the easiest to read.
- Mistake #8: Failing to integrate graphics (photos, animations, etc.).Images sell better than mere words.
- Mistake #9: Presenting without a wireless remote control.Having to advance the slides with a spacebar or arrow key is cumbersome and limits your mobility.
- Mistake #10: Using overly artistic font styles.Arial is the clearest font style.
Consider a Working Presentation
When engaging with a prospective client be prepared to read the mood of those you are presenting too. Sometimes your audience has already seen half a dozen other PowerPoint presentations very similar to yours; slide upon slide of far too similar rhetoric all intended to convince the interviewing company to hire them. Each will make their best efforts to convey why their company is the right one for the project on the table, but few will stand out from the crowd of other applicants.
Consider a working presentation. Even if you don’t end up needing it, it could be an invaluable asset to still have already prepared as a backup plan. Granted, you have to be able to think on your feet and be creative, but it could end up being completely worth the risk. This type of presentation will require you to employ your active listening skills and to possess a thorough knowledge of your offer.
Working presentations are a great strategy for breaking the PowerPoint bore and standing out to decision makers.
Hold your price as long as possible – Build Value First!
“During my presentation,” you might ask, “when do I show my price?” Some would reply, “At the end.” I would take it one step further and say, “Don’t reveal your price unless, and until, you’ve demonstrated tangible measurable value.” If your buyer doesn’t see the value of what you’re offering, your price has no positive reference point. The more value you create in the buyer’s mind, the less likely you are to induce sticker shock. Salespeople are often surprised when their buyer thinks their price is high. Well, of course, he’s going to perceive it as high if you have demonstrated little or no value.
Remember: Your buyer will always equate your price with the value you demonstrate. The more value you demonstrate the less price resistance you’ll encounter.
Actions to Take
- During the presentation, focus heavily on the benefits, value, improvements, outcomes, and results of your offer.
- Practicing with a friend or family member can also help you to become more familiar with the material as well as to help you feel more confident when it is time to present to your actual audience.
- Clearly define your presentation objective and convey it to your buyers.
- Use a transitional statement to ease into your presentation.
- Use a corporate overview to establish credibility.
- Sell benefits instead of features.
- Use case studies to solidify your position.
- Employ the C.I.S.B. method as a model for your presentation.
- Demonstrate ROI and tangible improvements.
- Prepare an agenda to keep the meeting on track.
- Hold your price until after you have conveyed value.
Trushar Mody is BUSINESS STRATEGIST, SOFT SKILLS TRAINER, OUTSIDE-THE-BOX THINKER AND THOUGHT PROVOKER. He is a Warehouse of knowledge and wants to share it. His passion lies in teaching Wholestic Learning and Emotional Intelligence.
Trushar Mody is a role model who has extended himself to help others along their own journeys. He works from his passion of helping people live their lives with purpose and without fear. He is a managing partner and senior trainer at Encore Consulting Group.