A sales presentation (often called a sales pitch) is a persuasive explanation of your product or service to your potential customer. This is a key stage of the sales process, usually taking place place after you have qualified your prospective customer, and before you begin negotiation.
In this article, 21 experts provide a range of excellent sales presentation tips that will help you convert more prospects into paying customers. Let’s dive in!
Dina Lynch Eisenberg, Outsource Easier
Impress with a custom designed sales presentation. Pictures do speak louder than words and good design says you have attention to detail and pride of work. Happily, it’s not expensive. You can get your sales presentation for under $50 on Fiverr or Upwork! Look for a designer whose style you like that has worked in your field to ensure a good fit.
Alternatively, you can create your own professional sales presentation and leave-behind using Slidebean, which takes your content and turns it into a professional visual sales presentation without needing any design skills or even a graphic mindset.
2. When a customer walks into a DIY store to buy a drill, they don’t want a drill, they want a hole!
Chris Murray, The Varda Kreuz Group
In the same way, no one listening to your sales presentation wants to hear about what you’ve got so much as what it will do for them when they own it. All the best presenters focus on how they’ll cure the itch, not the background information regarding the scratch. Learn how to do that and you’ll always have an interested audience.
Mike Williams, Security Pros
My favorite sales presentation tip is to start with the Bottom Line On Top (BLOT).
For us this means starting by presenting our recommendation followed by the price. Then justify why. Go back through the issues you discovered when discussing the customer’s problem that you are proposing to solve. Relate your solution to each of the problems.
That way if their initial reaction was that your price is too high, you remind them what the problems are, and they will agree that solving the problems justifies your price. Or they can re-prioritize to get to a price that they are willing to pay for a smaller solution.
If the price is lower than they expected, you can do the deal and get to lunch early!
Jay Dwivedi, Xinvest Consultants
My favorite tip is to always tie a financial metric to whatever you are selling. Some examples are obvious ones. For instance, an equipment saleswoman could say that by installing their motors, the energy cost will drop by 18% leading to a total saving of $11 million a year.
Other cases require more creativity, though. So a software salesman who is only selling an upgrade to what the customer was using, it might be hard to come up with a metric, but he should still impress upon his product manager to figure out if the upgrade streamlines some routine tasks and, thus, increases productivity.
Then, it is easier to say during the sales presentation that, Our internal research shows that customers who have used the upgraded software for three months found that the daily sales reports can be created within 15 minutes and the software automatically alerts all the stakeholders. This has resulted in 3% cost savings.
Marc Prosser, Co-Founder of Fit Small Business
Don’t let an excellent presentation go to waste. Keep in touch with the people you’ve made your pitch to by using a CRM to record their contact information, send follow-up emails, and set reminders for yourself. We use Insightly here at Fit Small Business to keep our project management and contact follow-up organized, all in one efficient platform. Best of all, for 1-2 users it’s completely free. Try it for yourself.
Julio Daniel Hernandez, Renew Energy
Most people tend to get a little nervous and go into talking mode when it’s time for them to deliver their sales presentation. One of the most valuable things that they can do however is help people see/feel/grasp how this proposed solution can help make their lives easier.
The most powerful way to do this is to paint a picture of the problem. For instance, “Have you ever been in a situation where you have an article to write last minute and you are scrambling for last minute sources you can use?
Then ask a question to measure their interest in solving this problem. For instance, “Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a way in which you could easily find credible sources in a matter of minutes?”
Finally, reveal to them your solution to the problem and seek their feedback to understand the value of your solution to them.
David Hindin, Invented Magazine
I’ve found the best way to give a sales presentation is to open with a brief story to get my audience fully engaged with my sales presentation. I also use slides with minimal text to keep the focus on what I’m saying. Just a clear and simple message for each slide in enough as you want them to spend most of their time engaging with you.
8. Use Fewer Words
Love your audience. It’s the only way to get rid of sales presentation stage fright. Know that your audience needs your product/service. Understand what information they need and give it to them. You are doing them a favor.
Use periods instead of conjunctions. Place a pause where you’d normally connect sentences. The more pauses the easier people will process the information you’re putting out there.
They can’t buy if they don’t process your message properly!
Travel gets expensive quickly, and sometimes it can be hard for a large group to coordinate. Video conferences can be a cost-effective and convenient way to make impactful presentations. RingCentral provides high-quality meetings that can involve up to 200 participants, making it easy to share your presentation with much larger groups than can often be done in person. RingCentral also provides video conferencing, phone conferencing, and VoIP services all in one package. Click here for more information.
Yasin Abbak, Paired Media
Too often, people approach sales presentations like a performance: there’s a script with a beginning, middle and end, and engagement is not part of the equation. But sales presentations are rarely to a room of more than 10 people. Acknowledge that opportunity to connect with your audience on a personal level, and use the intimate setting to check in periodically.
Don’t just jump to your next slide or bullet point. Leave room for authentic conversation. Not only does it make the sales presentation more engaging and personal, but you’ll open up the opportunity for them to give you what you need — their objections — so you can convert them into partners.
Jessica Magoch, CEO, JPM Sales Partners
My best sales presentation tip is to keep your speaking points down to 5 minutes. A sales presentation should resemble a conversation, with the sales person listening more than talking. If a half hour meeting has a 15-20 mins sales presentation included, the salesperson is already behind and the customer is becoming more and more disinterested.
William Bauer, Managing Director, Royce Leather Gifts
If you go in with the idea that you are just going to talk, talk, talk, and make the sale, it’s going to be a struggle. But if you go in with the idea that you are going to have a conversation and build a relationship with the prospect, you’ll achieve a much better success rate.
Gino Pascucci, Premier Trust
Most presenters miss the objective of their sales presentation with small fonts, too many slides, and they touch on so many points that they leave their audience feeling confused. But presenters that follow the 10/20/30 rule keep their audience engaged, entertained, and informed.
The rules for a successful sales presentation are simple: no more than 10-slides, 20-minutes, and a 30-point font. You should be able to get your point across in 20-minutes and leave the other 40-minutes for questions. If you need more than 10-slides, then you are going over too much material.
Karl Sakas, Sakas & Company
Ok this isn’t a strictly speaking a sales presentation tip, but how many times have you succeeded with the sales presentation only to send through a cost-proposal that you receive no meaningful response to? I recommend scheduling a meeting to present your cost proposal as the immediate next step after your sales presentation meeting. If your prospect won’t agree to spend 30-minutes with you, why should you invest the time to create the cost-proposal in the first place?
Julie Hansen is the author of Sales Presentations for Dummies. One of her hot sales presentation tip is to start your presentation with an outside-the-box sales presentation opening. The opening should grab your audience’s limited attention span, set the stage and let them know they are in the right theater! For instance, you could use shock and awe, pose an intriguing question or present a customer success story. Here are two examples of a shock and awe sales presentation opening:
- “The average person is exposed to 5000 commercial messages per day…How will your message stand out?”
- “Contrary to popular belief, 90% of restaurants do NOT fail in the first year!…Which is why it’s important to look beyond the first month and stick with winning strategies.”
Julie recommends you always make sure your statement is relevant and be prepared to defend your facts or quote your sources.
Patricia Fripp is a leading sales presentation and training expert. When Patricia was asked, “What’s the biggest mistake sales professionals make when delivering a sales presentation?” Her answer is always, “Not rehearsing.“ Patricia says that it’s remarkable but true that most people spend plenty of time creating and perfecting their sales presentation slides, but little or no time rehearsing how they deliver the sales presentation itself.
If sales presentations are crucial to your sales performance, this is a simple sales presentation tip that can immediately improve your sales performance.
If you want to learn more about the all the other aspects of preparing, delivering and following-up on a sales presentation, I recommend reading How to Create a Winning Sales Pitch.
Next generation sales presentation software will help you to visualize a powerful sales pitch and leave-behind. This is becoming crucial as people’s attention spans have shortened by 50% over the last 20 years according to Julie Hansen. At Fitsmallbusiness we recommend Slidebean because it not only allows you to create professional sales presentations without the need for any graphic design expertise. But It also provides useful sales analytics including who opened your leave-behind and which slides they reviewed and for how long.
Mike Rodrigues is an expert speaker and trainer. His top sales presentation tip is that most salespeople forget the true purpose of a sales presentation. It’s not to tell how great you, your company or your products are. A great sales presentation starts with understanding your clients’ needs and then presenting a solution that speaks directly to that need. When you get to the point of conducting your sales presentation, always start off (after your introduction) by asking your group this question what is the most important thing you expect me to cover at this sales presentation today. Then let them answer. This question allows you to get your audience involved right away and allows you to immediately start tailoring your sales presentation.
Trish Springsteen is an award winning public speaking coach, mentor and author. Her top sales presentation tip is to know your audience and your market. Or put another way, your micro niche, which is the audience that is surely going to buy your product. This makes it easier to know what you want to achieve in your sales presentation and what you want your audience to take away. If you don’t know your destination, how can you take your clients on the journey with you? The clearer and more precise you are, the clearer it is for your audience to see you and your expertise. The more focussed you are on your micro niche the easier it is for you to use language and concepts that resonate with them.
I believe this is essential before you even try to construct the sales presentation or look at how you present.
Thom Fox is a talk show host and knows a thing or two about presenting to an audience! One of his favorite sales presentation tips is to share some industry specific information in relation to the work he’ll be conducting and correlating that information to a conservative ROI for his services.I found that most business owners and professionals often bury their heads inside the business, and look less at their landscape. By taking a 30,000-foot view of the business, industry, and services provided my clients have a better understanding of the investment they are making in my strategic planning services. This has helped me to reduce my sales cycle, and increase my close ratio by 75%.
Mike Schultz is the president of RAIN Group and bestselling author of Insight Selling. His #1 tip for sales presentations: don’t present! At least, not exclusively. Make it a conversation. Sure, there comes a time in a sales meeting to show product, tell stories, or otherwise ‘present’, but if you want the buyers to be engaged, engage them! Ask them questions about what will make it a good meeting for them. Ask them what they’re hoping to accomplish. Stop regularly during any presentation to ask, “What questions do you have?”
And I say deliberately ask “What questions do you have?” versus “Do you have any questions?” The answer to the latter is usually, “No.” If you ask, “What questions do you have?” you get much more of a response.
Kenny Nguyen is CEO of Big Fish Presentations. His top sales presentation tip is to frame your pitch in the Value-Price-Value structure. He recommends that you:
- Give the value upfront to let the customer know what they’re getting and how it’s going to help them.
- Then deliver the price that’s commensurate to the value.
- Then end up by restating the value.
By doing it this way, you leave the customer with your value as the last impression and not as a throwaway comment in the center of your sales presentation.
This strategy has helped us grow exponentially.
BONUS: Use Case Study Presentations
Marc Wayshak, Sales Research & Insights
Marc Wayshak is a best-selling author of three books and CEO of Marc Wayshak Sales Research & Insights. Most presentations are boring and don’t build credibility. There is no better way to hold their interest and show social proof than to use a case study (think story-time!) when presenting your solution. The basic structure of your case studies should include the challenges your other client faced, what you did to solve those challenges, the results you achieved. There is no better way to engage and build credibility than with case studies throughout your presentation to help paint a picture of what your solution will look like.
The Bottom Line
Nailing your sales presentation can make a huge difference to your sales conversion rate. A big thank you to all of the experts who kindly shared their sales presentation tips with us. Do you have any hot sales presentation tips that we haven’t listed? If so, please share them in the comments section below.