Feel confident going into your next presentation

How many presentations have you done in the past few months?  What kind of grade would you give yourself on how they went?  I know sometimes I have looked back after presentations and realized I could have done a better job preparing.  Particularly when you are squeezed for time it helps to have an outline that helps you feel confident going into the presentation.

Homework – the “must have” information

Yes, if you have read some of my other posts, I talk about the need to do homework frequently.  This is not easy for good salespeople who are typically impatient.  Information you want to be sure to have during your preparation includes:

  • Total amount of time for the meeting
  • Time allocated for open discussion, addressing questions
  • Attendees
    • Their experience with your company (positive or negative)
    • Interests related to your company/solution (why are they there?)
    • Perspective from which they will evaluate your solution (e.g. financial, technical, end user) – my post on 2/14/2020 has more on this
  • Customer’s perspective on
    • Current environment (current solution)
    • Challenges with current environment
    • Requirements for new environment

Structure for your presentation

During your presentation it will be important for the customer to clearly see you have listened to them when discussing their current environment and what is driving their interest in seeking a new solution.  Your presentation should include:

  • Introduction to your company (if anyone attending is not familiar)
    • Company news if all are familiar
  • Summary of customer’s current environment
  • Challenges with current environment
  • Overview of your solution(s)
  • Summary of how your solution(s) resolve their challenges/help them achieve their goals
  • Success stories from other customers
  • Potential next steps

“Replaying” what the customer has shared with you gives you an opportunity to validate as you lead them through the discussion.  It is a good way to get the customer engaged in discussion versus sitting silent watching you talk from slides.

Stay focused on the goals – the customer’s and yours!

Keep the customer’s objectives and your goals for the presentation top of mind as you develop the presentation.  When you are practicing the presentation with co-workers test yourselves to see if you are staying focused to the extent necessary.  Block time off where you are solely focused on preparation.  You will surely feel more comfortable and confident moving forward.

Feel free to contact me directly for ideas and/or help in developing a plan for your upcoming presentations.

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