How to Give a Memorable Sales Presentation

In the typical year, a typical decision-maker might see three or four dozen sales presentation. So how do you make certain that it’s YOUR presentation that she remembers when it’s time to buy? The key to this is to use your presentation to create a set of emotions that will anchor your message in the listener’s mind. There are four rules for doing this:

  • RULE #1: Tell a story using simple slides. No bullets, no large bodies of text, no complicated graphics. You want the focus to be on you and your message, not on the screen, and certain not on the screen with you droning away about your bullet points.
  • RULE #2: Begin with a “heart-stopper.” Every movie, TV show, or novel starts with something that captures your attention (i.e. captures your emotions) and holds your interest while you “get into” the story. Without a “heart stopper,” the audience’s mind will wander.
  • RULE #3: Tell the story from THEIR viewpoint. The presentation must be about the audience… not about you. The idea is to connects emotions to the audience’s current situation so that the buying decision becomes inevitable. You, your firm and your solution plays a supporting role only.
  • RULE #4. End with a “risk-remover” then a “close.” The risk-remover eliminates any remaining reluctance to make a decision, while the “close” pushes the audience over the edge and essentially drives them to make a decision. If you’ve done well, it will be in your favor.

Here’s an example:

  • SLIDE #1: $10 million
    SCRIPT:
    (Pause for five seconds.) “Yes, $10 million dollars. That’s what you lost last year. Inventory Problems According to the research that I’ve conducted with your team, your company’s inability to track inventory has resulted in the defection of three large customers and several smaller ones. The total amount of revenue from those accounts was $20 million, but the reputation that you’ve gotten in the industry has lost you additional sales. In fact, $100 million is probably a conservative estimate.”
  • SLIDE #2: Lost Market Share
    SCRIPT:
    “If the current trend continues, there’s no doubt that you will be losing marketing share to your competitors. This will allow them to apply economies of scale that your company will eventually be unable to match. Worst case, you could go into a downward spiral where you become successively less competitive.”
  • SLIDE #3: Controlling Inventory
    SCRIPT:
    “The challenge with inventory control isn’t just getting costs under control; it’s turning your inventory into a competitive advantage. Here are some examples of companies that have not just managed to reduce their inventory costs, but used a shortened supply chain and just-in-time inventory to gain new customers….”
  • SLIDE #4: [Simple Table]
    SCRIPT:
    “Here is the top line of a spreadsheet that I’ve worked up with the help of Joe in accounting that shows how an inventory control solution can gradually get expenses in line and increase sales revenue. You’ll note that the bulk of the cost savings comes within three months of installation, but then there’s a follow-on effect of increased revenue.”
  • SLIDE #5: Return on Investment
    SCRIPT:
    “The most attractive element of this solution is that it virtually pays for itself within the first three months. Note that this ROI does not include the incremental revenue that you’ll be making in years 2 and 3.”
  • SLIDE #6: Proof
    SCRIPT: “Acme Inc, who is in the same business as you, installed our system, and saved $4.3m in 5 months.”
  • SLIDE #7: Next Steps
    SCRIPT:
    “As soon as we get the go-ahead, we can have this system installed within three weeks. I’ve already met with your technical guru to ensure that it’s fully compatible with your existing infrastructure and our engineers have pre-qualified your system for an easy install.”
  • SLIDE: Pr
  • SLIDE: Questions?
    SCRIPT:
    “I’d be happy to answer any questions you might have.

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