Category Archives: Sales

Sales Presentation: Engage Your Audience

Presentation skills

Seven ways to improve customer presentations:

  1. Provide a “Want” – not an Info Dump!  Be conscious of making sure the audience comes away with information that has value to them and not just pontificate of your knowledge. Give them just enough information that makes them “want”more – your products, services, expertise, a follow-up meeting, etc.
  2. Lead them with numbers. Tell your audience where your presentation is going. For example list 3-5 main points, tell them what you are going to tell them, and number the points! People like numbered lists because they know what to expect, where you are in the presentation, and it also helps them to better remember your presentation points.
  3. Create 3 basic parts to the presentation:  1. Introduction. 2. Content (which should contain 3-5 numbered points). 3. Conclusion: tell them what you told them.
  4. Communicate nuggets of info. Keep it simple. Make sure each point has an intro and conclusion so the audience can take away identifiable nuggets of information. It also makes it easier for people to take notes and retain the main points of your speech.
  5. presentation tipsTake your audience on a journey. After quoting a fact or a statistic to validate a point, engage the audience with a metaphor or tell a personal story. It makes it easier for the audience to understand and remember your points.
  6. Create a great first impressions at the podium. Looking to the back of the room, and slowly side to side lifts your head up higher and gives the impression you are confident and knowledgeable about the topic you are presenting. Avoid darting your eyes back and forth and around the room –it makes it appear that you are looking for a way to escape.
  7. Use vocal variety and pauses. Vocal variety shows passion as a speaker. It’s like a hit song that has a melody and a chorus, soft and loud –and just the opposite of a monotone presentation. Vocal variety creates subliminal dynamics that keeps the listener interested and engaged.

Are you old-school or new-age sales?

Technology sales personIf I was evaluating a technology-based sales person with a lengthy resume, I would base it on more recent sales history – no farther back than the last 10-15 years. Back 20+ years ago computer and technology sales people could boast big impressive sales numbers because sales were “easy” compared to selling in today’s  highly competitive marketplace. Why? The world was switching over from paper and fax machines to computers and networks. Plus, connecting to the early stages of the Internet. Every company was buying technology and computer related products.

Back then the sales approach was totally different – you could make an easy sale on computers and networks based on price or superior technology because it was changing so quickly. Companies were buying entire telecommunications and computers systems – they were all basically building from scratch.

computer sales

Now successful new-age sales sells the “value” of a company’s technology – because there isn’t as much difference between the competition as there was in the early technology days. Yes, most companies now think they have something new and different, but typically not different enough for the customer to recognize or understand the difference without a lot of marketing and sales communication.

A new-age sales person articulates value propositions and creates the perception in the customer’s mind that the product and company is unique and offers a better value than the competition. That takes additional time, effort, and patience

best selling tipsAdditionally, it is equally important for the new-age sales person to partner with marketing because a successful sales person is part of the sales process and not the whole process. They are patient and learn how to become an important part of the “social media engagement” process. The new-age sales person understands how social media marketing and a company’s website are now an integral part of the entire sales process, as they are not the lone-wolf sales person glad-handing and selling like the good ole’ days.