Sales Presentation Skills Training Tips to Help You Right Now!
Salespeople have a lot to balance between prospecting, selling, client follow-up, and all the other activities they do in a single day. With so much on their plate, it’s easy to let sales presentation preparation slide to the back burner. Unfortunately, the result is that their presentations don’t always hit the mark, and they may look ill- prepared in front of prospects and clients, thus damaging their credibility.
Whether a salesperson has had sales presentation skills training, has been coached by their manager, or has picked up a few speaking tips from colleagues or friends, the bottom line is this: every sales person wants to shine in front of a high stakes audience. And while they know that sales activities like business development and client support are crucial ingredients to successful selling, they also know that polishing their speaking skills and consistently delivering high quality sales presentations gives them the edge in attracting and retaining strong customer relationships.
Here are 5 tips for preparing and delivering successful sales presentations:
1. Analyze Your Audience: If you’ve attended a sales presentation skills training program you’ve likely heard about the importance of “knowing your audience.” But what does that mean? Understanding who they are, what they are looking for, if they are familiar with your company, product or service, and how they will perceive you as an information source are all critical data points to identify. Once you have a basic understanding of your audience, I recommend getting feedback from your boss or colleagues to test and expand your knowledge and assumptions. In the case of audience analysis, too much information is never enough.
2. Organize Your Content: There are two parts to effective sales presentation content: message and structure. Once you know your audience you can build a compelling message with relevant data, stories, and examples to illustrate your understanding of their challenges and how your products and services will provide solutions. But don’t forget to organize your message with an easy- to- follow beginning, middle, and end structure. Start with a hook to pull them in and end on a high note with a call to action so they are eager to take next steps. Make your sales presentation content accessible to your audience with a compelling, well-structured message.
3. Polish Your Performance: Brush up on all verbal and non-verbal sales presentation delivery skills while paying special attention to the needs of your audience. Does this audience expect a high-energy, high- volume delivery, or would they be more receptive to a thoughtful, conversational tone.? Are your non-verbal skills (facial expression, eye contact, posture, gesture, movement) consistent with your overall message? Are you able to convey passion and excitement balanced with gravitas? Of course it’s important to develop a full range of performance delivery skills, but it’s equally important to know how and when to use them.
4. Use Audio and Video: There are more than enough technology options to help salespeople practice their sales presentations skills and stay on track. Cell phones, tablets, or video cameras provide immediate audio/video feedback. During playback, analyze every aspect of your presentation. How do you sound? Clear, organized, and passionate … or boring, monotonous, and rambling? Watching short 30-second clips of yourself as you prepare or present will give you good feedback on your body language and facial expression. Or you can transcribe your calls or use a program like Dragon Naturally Speaking to have your voice presentation turned into text. This is a great way to analyze your vocal skills, count fillers (“um,” “ahh,” etc.), and check your speed, vocabulary, and word choice.
5. Develop a Resource File: Collect “qualified” material to be used and refined over time. Openings and closings, transitions, stories, metaphors, examples, facts, statistics, and humorous comments that have worked in past presentations can be used, re-purposed, and used again. What are your favorite customer stories? Or those stories that get a great reaction from your audience? Keep track of questions, especially the challenging questions you hear only occasionally. Having tested material and rich resources available saves times and ensures quality and consistency.
No matter how busy salespeople are, staying focused on improving your sales presentation skills is possible … and relatively simple. Even better, when this approach becomes part of your company’s culture, new hires will be up-to-speed much quicker. So implement these 5 sales presentation skills training strategies today and watch your presentations (and closing ratios) soar.
About the Author
Angela DeFinis is an expert in sales presentation skills training and professional public speaking. As a presentation skills trainer, speech coach and founder/CEO of DeFinis Communications, she has spent over twenty-five years helping business professionals find solutions to their communication challenges and develop a broader repertoire of potent speaking skills. Her message and approach create positive, personal, and lasting change. Contact Angela at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (415) 258-8176.