This is a guest post from the pros at PGI. Enjoy!
Sales professionals are constantly looking for new ways to not only drive more leads, but simply stand out from their competition. Generating and tracking leads has become increasingly more difficult with the influx of new selling disciplines (social selling, anyone) and complex tech tools. Differentiating yourself from the masses requires a way to break through the clutter.
You Only Have One Chance to Make a Good First Impression:
First things first. Gaining credibility from potential clients demands that you present yourself as a compelling and professional solutions expert. You won’t convert a prospect into a paying customer if your first impression falls flat. Successful presentations all share the same common elements, but many professionals don’t stop to think about how their sales pitches will be received. As noted in our eBook, “The Science of Sales Presentations,” it takes one-tenth of a second for someone to make up their mind about another person and the average adult attention span is 5 minutes, so you have a finite amount of time to hook your audience before it’s over. Every successful sales presentation should look to incorporate the following 5 components:
- Killer Opening Slide: Attention grabber.
- Story Line: Plotted like a narrative. The prospect should always be the main character.
- Data: Establish credibility and trust.
- Powerful Visuals: Images and videos that evoke the desired feeling (pain, fear, laughter, trust).
- Thematic Design: Fonts, colors and images are consistent and help tell the story.
It’s Not about Me, It’s about You:
Crafting a message that is both relevant and compelling can present a challenge for any sales professional. What if the topic isn’t particularly exciting? How can I relate to a prospect I don’t know? Winning sales presentations don’t “pitch” their customers, they tell a story that speaks to a need or solves a problem. As “The Science of Sales Presentations” points out, seventy percent of people make purchasing decisions to solve a problem; and while 5 percent of people remember statistics after a presentation, 63 percent remember stories. Below are a few ways to make your presentations more relatable:
- Identify Your Customer’s Pain: Understand pain points for your customer and find solutions.
- Don’t Talk in Generic Industry Terms: Research that individual and his or her company, and get specific.
- Pitch Outside of the Proverbial Box: Identify how they’re being prospected by others. Engage prospects with meaning and a little dazzle—social thought leadership and targeted messages delivered with new tech-based sales presentations and personalized video emails.
- Make it Hard to Say “No:” Be likeable. Be friendly. Don’t sell products; engage people by offering to solve problems. Tell your story while you’re telling theirs.
- Ask for the Time: An oldie but a goodie, don’t forget to come out and say what you want: their time.
Make the Storyline Work for You:
Trying to tell the right story that speaks to the appropriate need for each prospect is more art than science. However, by testing various narratives and presentations, data will reveal your most successful messages over time. “The Science of Sales Presentations” notes that seventy percent of prospects stop watching a presentation because the subject matter isn’t relevant to them, making it extremely important to ensure you analyze successes closely and pull winning messages into your methodology. Here are a few simple steps to remember:
- Create Three Different Experimental Messages:
- Here’s what we do.
- Here’s a compelling, flashy teaser.
- Here’s what we can do for you.
- Launch the Experiment: Share your messages with three different groups.
- Let the Data Decide:
- How many opened the email?
- How many watched the presentation for 30 seconds, 1 minute or its entirety?
- How many downloaded the content offer vs. asked for a meeting?
- What did people say on the follow-up survey?
Make Technology Work for You:
Tools like the iMeet® Sales Accelerator not only help differentiate your presentations through personalized video narration, but also have features that help increase sales activity by allowing you to reach multiple prospects at once, share your pitches anywhere online, quickly update a CRM, learn who has opened your presentation and for how long, and use a virtual meeting room to set up a face-to-face and close the deal.
Ensuring you’ve developed a quality presentation is essential to success, but by also leveraging the latest tools and technologies, professionals can take their decks to the next level and track leads more effectively than ever before.
Contributed by PGI.
PGi’s portfolio of software and services provides global solutions that improve productivity through more effective communication and collaboration. From our flagship web conferencing products and unparalleled audio conferencing services to solutions for video conferencing, web events, project management and unified communications, PGi’s 20+ years’ of innovation enables approximately 50,000 businesses of all sizes to grow faster and achieve operational excellence. To learn more, visit us at www.pgi.com.