Love them or loathe them, sales presentations are one of the most important parts of the sales process and are often the deciding factor in whether a deal is made. While some sales people will feel fear and trepidation at just the thought of an important sales presentation, others will be excited by the opportunity and the chance to shine.
Your attitude towards sales presentations doesn't dictate the results you get though - you can give great sales presentations regardless of whether you enjoy them or not; the key is to keep working on them - sales presentations are a skill that you can develop, not one you are born with. The biggest mistake any sales person can make regarding sales presentations is to believe that they cannot improve their own performance any further. With that in mind, we've selected 3 top tips for aspiring sales people to use to improve their presentations:
1. Know your audience
Knowing and understanding your audience can help you fine-tune your pitch to their specific needs and business situation. If you research a business and their situation before embarking on the sales presentation you'll not only be able to say more of relevance to your potential client but you'll also impress them with your attention to detail. This can also help you anticipate any questions you might have and to prepare excellent answers for them. On the other hand, a sales person who hasn't done their research and gets key facts wrong about the people they're presenting to is unlikely to walk away with a sale.
2. Prepare well
Delivering great sales presentations is more than just standing in front of a crowd and speaking confidently. The words you use, the body language you display and the expressions you give all play a part in the overall experience for the client. Each 10-minute slot you need to spend presenting should probably have about an hour's preparation behind it - so a 30-minute preparation should take most of a working day to prepare for. Practice in front of a friend or colleague and ask for their honest opinion about how you come across. Alternatively, you can film yourself and then give your own critique - try again and again and keep working on your weak points. As you become more experienced, you will be able to spend less time preparing.
3. You be you
We all know people who are better than us at things and sales presentations are no exception. One trap many sales people fall into is to try to emulate the style of someone else who is skilled at sales presentations. While this can work up to a point you are never going to feel completely comfortable unless you are being yourself and finding your own style. You also risk coming across as false to your potential clients. Developing your own style and staying true to your own personality will make the experience of doing sales presentations more enjoyable and can give you an edge other presenters who lack personality.
Sales presentations are something that you should be continually working on throughout your career. At no point should you ever decide that you're good enough - if you do, you are unlikely to progress much further beyond your current role. By taking an attitude of continual learning and improvement, even the worst sales presenter can rise to become a star performer.