Sales Presentation Tips to Boost Confidence & Close the Deal Blog Feature
Molly D Protosow

By: Molly D Protosow on June 15th, 2017

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Sales Presentation Tips to Boost Confidence & Close the Deal

Sales Tips | Motivational | Sales Meetings

Giving presentations and pitches are a huge part of being successful in the sales industry. One bad presentation, or even stumbling in the beginning of a pitch, can decrease your confidence and can even cost you the deal.

If this has happened to you, you’re not alone. 

According to Prezi, nearly 70% of the people surveyed who present regularly agreed that presentations are critical to their success at work—and 75% of the presenters surveyed indicated that they would like to improve their presentation skills.

Before you head into your next sales presentation, make sure you take these top presentation tips into account to help you be more confident, more prepared, and better equipped to close your next deal.

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Identify the Goal of the Presentation

When I ask salespeople about their goal, in almost any context, I often get vague answers.  

“Well, my goal is this, but my boss’s goal is that, but my ideal goal is this, but I would be willing to accept that.”

For the purposes of making a great presentation, we want to be very specific about what our goal is, and in order to get there, there are two kinds of questions that we want to explore before the meeting.

The first question you want to explore is:

“How many sales conversations is this sale worth?”

In other words, if the sale is potentially worth less than your average order size, you may want to consider the fact that the entire sales effort is not worth more than one or two conversations, maybe with an email.  It’s certainly not worth 15 conversations.  

On the other hand, if it’s potentially worth more than your average order size, it could be worth three, four, five, ten or more visits and conversations. In this case, you may have to adjust your goal for this particular meeting.  

The second question you want to explore is:

In your view, what is the very next thing needed to eventually close the sale?

So when you look at those two things together, you want to be more specific about your goal:

Are you aiming to get a decision in this meeting?  Is your goal simply to get the prospect to say, “You know what, this is potentially worth exploring. Let’s talk again” or “Let’s talk again and bring somebody else to the meeting?”  

Get as specific as you can with that goal, and have a plan A and a plan B in place.

Be Able to Quickly “Bucket” Attendees

Before starting your presentation, it’s important to do your research, that way when you walk into the meeting, you will be able to bucket each person at the table by their specific role in the organization.

Now, what do I mean by “bucket” each person?  

Well, when I’m talking to somebody, or a group of people, it’s likely that they’re sitting in one of these buckets: a financial buyer, a commercial buyer, a technical buyer, the owner, the President, or the person that runs that company.  

When bucketing, ask yourself these questions:

Does this person know more than you about what you’re selling?  Does this person technically know what you’re selling but have no financial influence at all?  

Make sure you adjust your presentation so that it speaks to the one that you’re presenting to in the same language that he or she already accustomed to speaking in.

Separate the Important Information from the Basic Information

What is the information you really need to gain in order to properly position your product or service?  

Clearly you need to understand what the lead’s goal is, and whatever he or she tells you about their needs and wants.

But you also want to go beyond that and ask yourself:

What is his role?  And what has his role been in similar purchases?  Has he ever bought anything like what you’re selling before?  How did he do it last time?  Did he involve other people?

Learn his buying patterns, and discover how likely he is to make a decision going forward.

But let’s also look at the timing:

Has the company been looking for a while? If so, why?  Has he spoken with other companies that they are no longer considering? If so, why?  Why have they rejected some things?  Is there an internal bias?  Have they realized that certain things will work and certain things won’t?

And take it even further:

How come they’re even looking?  How come they aren’t using last year’s solutions again now?  Did something change?  Did something develop in their company?  Are they new?  Are they reacting to some competitive landscape issues?  

By understanding their timing, understanding how they arrived at whatever budget, and timetable, you’ll know what you’re up against. Check to see if the company had one of their individuals look in and spearhead the effort of finding a solution.

Why was that particular person the one chosen to be in that position?  Is that typically the way their process begins?

So let’s go beyond simply his or her title. Usually the salesperson says, “Does his title include the title of my product? And if so, he must be the right person. And he must be thinking about it in one kind of way. Now, I need to go way beyond that with the information that I gained.”

Figure Out What Reaction You Want and How People Will React to You

Before the presentation even begins, figure out what reaction you’re looking to get and what others reaction will be about your presentation. A way to do this is to put yourself in their shoes and see what they would say when they talk to a peer or boss about your solution. What would they say?

There are many cases in selling where there are other decision-makers who we never get to meet. The customer says to you, “Okay, this is interesting, but I’m going to have to talk to my boss.”

He might be thinking, “If I tell my boss this, my boss is going to think that I’m wasting time, or I’m an idiot, or I don’t get something.”  Well, if that’s the case, then he’s not going to tell his boss.  On the other hand, if he thinks the boss or the other people in the company are going to think that he’s a hero for introducing this great new offering that you’re presenting, then HOORAY! That’s precisely the reaction that you want to achieve.  So let’s understand what his reaction is likely to be.

Will he tell others in the organization about you and your service?

What is his reaction going to be in terms of helping you get exposure in their company? What is the reaction you’re looking for?

Keep in mind that a smiling, happy, nod is not the only kind of reaction that’s going to work. You may be presenting something that introduces a brand new emerging technology or a new way of looking at something, in which case you’ll need to educate them and possibly challenge them. Don’t be afraid of them momentarily going, “Wait a minute, I don’t know that that’s going to work.”  

This could be what it’s going to take for them to be able to see that what you have to offer is of great value.

Confidence comes from planning and it’s easy to see that with a little preparation, you can close your next deal.

Ready to take this a step further and really plan out your day to help increase your productivity? Download our eBook “4 Steps for Improving Your Time Management and Sales Skills” to explore how you can improve time management skills to gain an edge over your competitors:

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About Molly D Protosow

Molly Protosow is the COO and Training Strategist for DMTraining. She manages the day-to-day business and training operations while helping research and develop new training programs as well as refreshing signature programs to reflect the newest sales trends, technology, and best practices. Molly utilizes her wide-range of skills to create sales and marketing assets focused on delivering value to DMT’s clients. Molly has a passion for learning and leveraging new knowledge and experiences. Outside of DMTraining, Molly is a hard core Pittsburgh sports fan, enjoys staying active by running and golfing, and unwinds by reading and playing the piano.

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