CONVINCING: Makes well researched, targeted and compelling sales presentations

CONVINCING: Makes well researched, targeted and compelling sales presentations

Nihar wound up his presentation with a flourish. This was Nihar’s big moment.

Nihar’s company specialized in manufacturing machinery for apparel makers. After Covid 19 apparel makers seemed to sense an opportunity in adding personal protection equipment (PPE) gear to their product lines. Now Nihar’s company had been retained for a project which involved making and commissioning machinery for a PPE production line

To be fair to Nihar, the internal project proposal presentation to his CEO Soumya and his senior leadership had a Steve Jobs - like colour and energy. The slides were brilliant and minimalist. There were arresting videos too, hyperlinked to the slides. Nihar took a couple of questions that he responded to in detail. Soumya said nothing. Smiling, she thanked Nihar

And as the virtual meeting ended, she called her Raman her HR colleague for a quick call. She had just one question “How can you get our people to make meaningful presentations?”

“Shall we run them through a high end training on creative use of Power Point?” enquired Raman.

“It is much more than Power Point” Soumya said. “You are referring to the form. Our guys are fine there. But I’m concerned about substance. I wish Nihar’s presentation had been better researched and targeted towards the next steps in getting the project off the ground. The presentation wasn’t helpful at all from a decisioning angle. My worry is, how are going to convince the Customer, if this is what we present?”

Sales wizards know that the next big deal closure could be just a presentation away. So, they see their slide content as more than just a dazzle and awe show. They look for the value that their slides and meeting notes, deliver to the Customer. They craft their presentations with a laser like focus on how the content can help the Customer decide by matching the purchase need to the solution proposed.

They use the following 6 practices to create a magic blend of form and substance:

  1. Self-awareness – They are astutely aware of their own personalities and build winning strategies around their strengths.
  2. Preparation and practice – They recognise that behind every powerful presentation, is tireless effort. They (i) Pick their content with audience and objective in mind (ii) Structure it neatly (iii) String it with sign posts to make the flow seamless (iv) They share a small number of powerful arguments to support their story line and key messages
  3. Personal projection – Knowing that personal projection is all about a connect at 3 levels, they make sure to establish connect at all three: (i) Energy connect – Built with body language (ii) Emotional connect – Through shared feelings and empathy (iii) Intellectual connect – Substance beyond form, the real content
  4. Presence – This is the aura of confidence and poise a sales wizard exudes, even under pressure. It is a personal magnetism born of speaking skills, assertiveness, ability to read an audience or situation, credibility, clarity and conciseness. If that sounds beyond reach, it is good to remember that sales maestros get there one step at a time.
  5. Story telling - Use of parables and stories to engage, convince, evangelize or simply make audiences laugh or cry is an ancient art that goes back to the dawn of humanity. It is a skill that star salespeople use sway business audiences too and to influence groups to buy
  6. Simplicity – Experienced sales people train themselves to be direct and uncomplicated in their thought process and judicious in choice of words. They communicate in an easy-to-understand language. They cultivate strong domain knowledge, hone communication skills, respect the intelligence of their audience and listen keenly. Simplicity flows from this mindset and preparation

Sales veterans stay resilient in their sales efforts with well researched, targeted and compelling presentations. Convincing sales presenters are made, not born. Like everything great, all it takes is a healthy mix of competence, hunger to learn and ceaseless practice!

Action Question:  How can you use the 6 practices of master presenters to make your next sales presentation even more compelling?

Related Reading: Mercuri Insight Document on What does it take to deliver high impact presentations?

About the series: This is the 38th in a series of 100 Posts that purport to build your #Sales Resilience.. as an individual salesperson, as a sales team, and as a sales organization. Because a Resilient India needs Resilient Sales.


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