Are you a Sales Star? 10 Hacks to Master your Sales Presentation.
Let’s start by trying to understand who a sales star is. An ideal definition in your mind now might be a person who has the ability to close each and every deal that comes their way. “ABC - Always Be Closing”
Well, you probably won’t get that reference, if you haven’t seen the movie Glengarry Glen Ross. But here’s the thing, all sales executives on the face of this earth, also want to close all of the deals. Yes! I am also talking about your competitors. The guys who will be going to make their sales pitches right after you come out of yours. So how is it possible to ABC. In other words, how can you be the sales star of your company?
The answer is quite simple actually. Just make the best f**king sales presentation, unless you are pitching something along the lines of a profoundly discounted trip to Hawaii. Here, we have compiled a list of 10 hacks to help you master your sales presentation.
1.Make your presentation short and crisp (Less is the new more).
Let's be honest and make a confession. It is true that at some point in our school lives, we have all napped in class. I am also talking about the first benchers. When your teachers go on and on about the wrath of Genghis Khan during the history classes, even the first benchers sneak micro napping sessions between their head nods in class.
At the end of your hour long sales presentation, if you have only one person in the boardroom reacting or saying something while the rest just sit and stare into oblivion, you probably reminded the rest of their history sessions in school and slipped them into snooze mode.
To completely avoid such a situation, you can come up with a short and crispy pitch which is sure to impress everyone in that room. A practical example of such short and crispy presentations can be seen in TED Talks, where the participants get a maximum of 18 mins to present their ideas to the world. To this day, the presentation by Professor David Christian covering 13.7 billion years of Earth’s history in under 18 mins remains one of the most riveting presentations in the history of TedTalk. A sales presentation with a similar impact is sure to leave the audience wanting for more.
2.Compile your thoughts into one sentence.
Having trouble structuring the presentation to fit it in the shorter format? Before you start building the presentation, summarize your thoughts and compile what you want to convey in one sentence. This helps you get a bird's eye view on what you want to convey through the presentation.
Ask yourself: What would I need individuals to recall from my presentation? Think about that query until you can react to it with a one-sentence answer.
Utilize that one sentence to plot the structure for the presentation and to generate the necessary content. Support the content with detailed stats and stories. But stay conscious about the number of supporting stats used as too many can distract the audience from the main pitch. By concentrating on the central message of the presentation, you can slice through mental barriers and pitch your ideas directly to the heart of the audience.
Shown below is a video which talks about how you can make a presentation with one sentence. Though it's not 100% in line with what we have spoken above, it still gives you an idea about how you can form that one sentence.
3.Pick your words intelligently.
This might sound a little too orthodox/mainstream, but the words that one uses in their presentation does make an emotional impact on the decision-making process. Since our aim is to make the business presentation as short as possible, the choice of words we use, tilt the odds of closing the deal in our favor.
These power words act as triggers in the decision-making process. It convinces people who are on the wall with the final decision to make the choice that favors the presenter. But, over using the power words increases the risk of coming out as too dramatic. So it is highly important that we ensure that the usage of such words is justified with appropriate use of data and statistics.
By using power words such as value, imagine, growth, you and because, you can skillfully sway the result of the presentation in your favor. These words not only get the audience hooked to your pitch, but they also hypnotize them in a way that makes your product all the more attractive.
For Example: When we talk about a word such as because you give the audience reason to believe that you are making a rational pitch which will genuinely benefit their cause. It's natural human tendency to crave for reason and order. Since words such as because give us that much needed rational reasoning behind decisions, it puts us at peace with the decisions we plan to make. You can have a detailed look at few more examples of power words from this link.
4.Use video presentations and visual infographics.
The main problem with presenters today is that they go with what successful people told about what worked for them. They blindly read blogs or articles of famous entrepreneurs on how they cracked their sales presentation and blindly follow what they explained. The main thing one has to notice is that the with each passing year, what was new and exciting one year may no longer be relevant in the next year.
The best way to stay ahead of this curve is to be an early adopter of what’s new and exciting. The new and most exciting part of the presentation world right now is the use of Animated video presentations. Add data backed video infographics to that equation and you will have an Animated video presentation which not only keeps the attendees engaged during the session but also convinces them quickly to make the purchase.
For Example: When you are making a sales presentation, a case study with a video such as the one below showing the improvements in monthly visitors via a google analytics infographics report before and after the implementation of the campaign can truly impress your audience and give them a perspective on the type of success your services can generate for them.
5.Storytelling! Yes! It really works!
This might be the zillionth time you are reading about the importance of storytelling in your communications, but we are gonna reiterate it one more time for you as it really does work.
- Ann Handley
Storytelling appeals to all audience irrespective of age or experience mainly because of its simplicity in conveying an idea to the other person. It helps us connect with the audience better and earn their interest rather than force your thoughts on them. With the advent of DIY Animated storytelling tools like Animaker, engaging storytelling has gotten a lot easier and a lot more impactful.
6.Stop Presenting and start Listening.
A person’s capacity to ace business presentations reduces greatly when they fail to really listen to the purchaser. Not listening to the customer's side puts blinders around your eyes and limits your vision on what the customer really wants. A good rule of thumb to follow here is to present 30% of the time and listen to your audience 70% of the time. Asking queries about the expectation to the prospect increases the scope to discuss what features of your offering will solve their problems. The prospects also start trusting you more once they get the feeling that you are listening to their problems because you genuinely want to solve the problems they are facing.
7.Try to sell the idea! Not the product or service.
This is one place where many companies fail over and over again. But one company which has excelled at selling ideas is Apple. Apple at the core of its idea understands completely that it is not just a product company but also a lifestyle company. It taps into the admiration and enthusiasm of individuals along with their rationalism. Remember the first silhouette iPod ads from 2004. That campaign quite literally made the iPod synonymous with the life of all Teens in the US. They have not just excelled at making the best products in the market, they have also excelled at making it a part of the lifestyle of every American.
They owe most of their success not just to their amazing marketing campaigns; they also owe it to the presentations given by Steve Jobs during their product launches. Be it the release of revolutionary products such as iPod, iPad or the iPhone, Steve Jobs has never failed to Wow his audience. The best one among his numerous presentations was during the launch of the first generation iPhone. During that presentation, Steve jobs sold the idea of how regular cell phones are not really that smart and easy to use. He showed the audience how the iPhone was actually smart and would make their life much simpler. To this date, his keynote presentations are one of the most viewed presentations on YouTube. If you learn to walk into a boardroom with the same presentation ability of Steve Jobs and try selling your idea, you are surely bound to walk out of there with the deal closed every single time.
8.Align the presentation to the situation.
When talking about aligning the presentation to the situation, we mean that the presentation has to be aligned to the point of the sales cycle we are at. For example: Presenting your ideas to a prospect who wants to subscribe to your product for the first time is very different from presenting your ideas to an existing customer so that they re-subscribe at the end of the year.
At the end of a year-long customer-vendor relationship, your customer is either grateful that he chose your product or dissatisfied because of that one day when your system was down and affected the progress of his work. Depending on the situation, the sales executive must be ready to face the ammunition and turn the situation around with facts. Remind them about the numerous good days they have had with respect to the product or service. Acknowledge the mishap instead of defending the product and show them how your product has been improved and the chances of such a bad day repeating are near zero.
9.Have diverse presentation styles in your arsenal .
When we talk about presentation styles, there is no fail-proof style you can use to impress any kind of audience. Generally, the audience in a sales presentation can be split into two different categories. One consists of people who like to listen and the other consists of people who love to discuss and participate during the presentation. So it is important for aspiring sales stars to have at least two of these presentation styles under their sleeves. Once the presentation starts, it shouldn’t take long before you identify the type of audience you are dealing with. By starting with a presentation style which is a mix of both oration style and discussion style, you can identify your audience’s preferred type of presentation within the first 5 mins and continue the rest of the session with that style.
10.Build on feedbacks.
Like any fine bottle of wine, a sales star is not made overnight. Experience and wisdom gained over the years play a big role in the making of a sales star. So, it is very important to keep improving your skills based on the feedbacks received at the end of presentations. Even if the feedbacks are not given by the prospect to us. You can always ask them later to understand what impacted their decision. This helps in looking at whether the problem was with the way the presentation was made or with the product itself because of the lack of features. If it is because of the way the presentation was made then the presenter can build on the feedbacks and make a better presentation to the next prospect. If it is because of the lack of features, then the feedback can be sent back to the product team which can assess if the missing features can be added in the future product updates.
This doesn’t mean that everyone needs years of experience to become a sales star. There are people who have a natural flair for Sales and excel at selling ideas and products right from the beginning of their Sales journey.
By continuously practicing these 10 hacks any sales executive can move closer each day to their dream of becoming a sales star. Having said all that, we truly believe that any person in the world can become a sales star with a little thought put into their actions.
Do you feel that we have missed any of the brilliant hacks which are available out there? Do let us know in the comments below.