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3 ways to boost your sales presentations

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Should you kiss your PowerPoints goodbye? Might not be a bad idea. Ninety-five percent or more of the presentations I see actually hurt a salesperson’s chances of success. They’re long. They’re all about your company, your products and your services. Blah…blah…blah.

And, truth be told, if you were in your prospects’ shoes, you’d probably be bored to tears by what you’re presenting, too. In my book SNAP Selling: Speed up Sales and Win More Business with Today’s Frazzled Customers, I talk about how to determine what to include in your presentations. Here are some tips you might find helpful:

1. Decide on your content. To start with, grab your prospects’ attention by focusing on what’s most important to them: their business issues and concerns and the value they’ll get from making a change. This will help you decide on the “story” you want to tell.

  • Aligned: Ensure that all content is ruthlessly relevant to your prospect.
  • Priority: Make sure you highlight why it’s important to change now.
  • Simple: Eliminate or minimize any complexity, making changing easy.

2. Develop the slides. During the actual presentation, you will tell the story and your slides will support it. As much as possible, find photos and graphics to make your main points. To best imagine what I’m talking about, think of a children’s picture book.

Each slide should be the launching pad for a key point you want to make. The fewer (seven to 10) you have the better. Use handouts for detailed information. This will force you to prepare a conversation, not read a bunch of PowerPoint items. The results? You will connect with your prospects on a whole new level.

3. Build in engagement. Your content itself is only a small portion of how you’re being evaluated. Your prospects are deciding which company they’d feel best working with in the coming months and years. That’s why it’s imperative to think about the questions you will use to engage your prospects in a discussion. This is also where you can personally demonstrate your expertise, commitment and caring. In short, it’s how you make yourself invaluable.

Of course, you don’t have to change a thing about your presentations. You can keep boring your prospects to death with your endless prattle about your company, etc. As long as your competitors are also doing that, you still stand a chance to win.

But, if you make the above changes, you will stand out from your competitors. You’ll be seen as an invaluable resource, and you’ll win more business. Making that happen takes more work upfront, but the payoff will be huge. The choice is yours. What will it be?

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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling and Selling to Big Companies. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.