Students often ask me about how to conduct sales meetings and presentations. We spend half a day on this subject during our Efficiency Sales Professional Boot Camps, which is much more comprehensive and in-depth. However, here are some basics I’ll share with you:
1. Remember that you’re serving the needs of the customer, not yourself. Don’t attempt to sell any products and services that won’t benefit them.
2. Share your enthusiasm. Of course, you need to make sure it's genuine enthusiasm. Prospects see through fake emotions easily, and the last thing you want to do is make them feel as if they’re watching bad community theater.
3. Prospects have a limited attention span. If you’re given an hour to present, budget 30-40 minutes for your content. Leave room for questions, conversation, and silence for people to process what they’re hearing and seeing.
4. Structure your presentation around a few key ideas. People can’t digest everything you’re offering in one sitting! In the spirit of the one-page proposal, make it about the why. The what, the how, the how much and the when can come later.
5. Speaking of one-page proposals, that can be a helpful touchstone for the meeting. Hand it out, have them read it, then go over its content piece by piece. Back yourself up with other materials you bring with you: case studies, a technical appendix, or any other materials your prospects might find useful.
6. A lot of people assume they need to use a PowerPoint presentation. That isn’t necessarily the case. If you’re doing the presentation remotely and using software like GoToWebinar, that’s different. People would like to see something pretty on their screens. If you're doing an in-person presentation, I really think that it should be a meeting of the minds, not a narration of bullet points from slides.
7. Find your presentation style. Some prefer to sit. Others stand. Personally, I prefer to stand. If you choose to do this, make sure the room is configured so you can pace around without looking like a duck going back and forth in one of those boardwalk arcade shooting galleries!
8. Some people respond visually. Others are more auditory. Still others are more kinesthetic. Make sure you cover all of these bases in your presentation. I’m not necessarily saying you should hand out brochures, but temper your presentation to use visuals, sound bites and interactive materials. The more people's preferred communication styles you’re accommodating, the more likely you’ll be successful.