Creating Presentations

In the last article we talked about qualifying prospects and gathering requirements in the sales cycle.

Once you’re comfortable that you have enough information then you’re ready to make your presentation.

While developing your presentation you want to organize your content in a few different sections.

It is generally best to create a PowerPoint presentation.

You’ll first want to recap the problems in the current state and what the client articulated as the ideal state to resolve those problems.

From there highlight the features advantages and benefits of the solution that you are proposing.

Limit the amount of words that you put on each slide as you want the audience to listen to the words you speak rather than read the words in the presentation.  Sometimes just a picture is better than a bullet point list.

Then, include a section for pricing and the steps for the post sale delivery.  You want to articulate the steps in the post sale because if your client has a specific event or target for why they want to buy now then both you and they need to plan for that. So, develop a mutual plan with them to work backwards for when the sale needs to be closed.  This just makes sense logistically because if they have a target end date for a project then there needs to be enough lead time after the sale is done to accomplish it; a fact that you need to tell them. Although to you it may be self-evident with all the tasks that need to be done often times unrealistic delivery dates are defined which means the sale may be reversed anyway. So, be sure to get all of these points right. There is no long term agreement if the value you are promising in the presentation never gets fulfilled. Additionally, from another perspective the presentation is the easy part and if you don’t get the sale at the time of the presentation then the deal can get stuck as you chase your potential client to sign the paperwork. So, setting all the terms up front and aligning on next steps for closing prevents time wasted chasing down your potential client.

For each slide write what you will say in the notes section.  Some people just write high level words as prompts while others will write out exactly what they will say as a script.  I prefer to do the latter and practice that script before presenting.

Plan to allocate some time for asking questions at the end.

While presenting be sure to ask the audience to hold their questions until the end.

As you are presenting consciously slow your words down.  Most of the time in a presentation people speed up due to nervousness; a consequence that means that the information may not be completely received.

Keep planning and refining your presentations.  If you’ve done a good job during qualification and requirements gathering then all you must do is match your capabilities to your potential client’s goals.  Stay persistent and you’ll get the deal.

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