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How to be a Powerful Presenter

One of the most important skills sales professionals need to possess is the ability to be a powerful presenter.

I’ve made a list for you, of a few things that every great presenter should know:

  • The customer is always thinking, “So, what’s in it for me?” Be prepared to show them the benefits.
  • Extensive research and preparation is critical; leave everything you can about your client, their needs and your competition.
  • Take the time to prepare an excellent proposal and a list of key questions to ask.
  • Make sure your presentation is more persuasive than informative.
  • Make sure your presentation grabs their attention.
  • Practice your presentation.
  • Make a list of potential objections and practice your best responses.
  • Give yourself time before the presentation to get your head in the game.
  • Bring your personality to the table. It’s show time – don’t be boring.
  • Make the presentation interactive, don’t pitch them or talk at them.
  • Close as soon as you see the opportunity to do so.

How to Grab Their Attention:

The first eight seconds you have of a prospect’s attention span are crucial.  If you had only 8 seconds to win or lose the sale, what would you say in those 8 seconds to make an impact?

Here are a few ways that you can grab their attention:

  • Tell a real life, third party story about something another customer has experienced.
  • Give your prospect a critical piece of news or information that is relevant to them.
  • Share statistics that they will find interesting.
  • Give them sincere recognition or congratulate them on an achievement.

The Proper Use of Visual Aids:

Sometimes salespeople use visual aids as a crutch, and often they completely overuse them.  They should only be used to enhance or highlight your presentation.

  • Take only the key pieces you need, don’t overwhelm your audience.
  • Make sure your visual aids are appealing.
  • Practice ahead of time exactly how you are going to use them.
  • Don’t immediately hand them to the customer, this will take their attention off of you. Wait and incorporate them into the body of your speech.

It’s Time to Close:

Assuming that that customer is qualified, motivated and that you have just conducted and excellent presentation showing how you can solve their problems, now it’s time to close.

A great salesperson knows that they have to get past the defenses and not take a “no” when a “yes” is still possible.

How do they do it?  They keep probing, asking questions to find “the pain” and then they offer solutions and ask the customer to buy.  If they meet resistance they dig in and ask more questions and try again.

You may ask: how many attempts to close can you make before you get stuck?  My response to this is that I would like to challenge you in the next closing situation when you hit the no’s, to go one step past your normal comfort zone and try to close them one more time.  When that becomes your new comfort zone, stretch again and try to close them one more time.  Do this until you can gracefully close them five, six, seven, or eight times.  It does take practice and remember if you aren’t practicing, someone somewhere is, and when you compete with them, they will beat you.

Debbie DeGrote is CEO and founder of Forward Coaching.


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