• Sample pages
  • Page 1

    “Well, good morning. We appreciate the opportunity to meet with you today. My name is Simon Shultz, business development manager for InTuitWorld, and I’d like to start by introducing the rest of my team to you.

    “Starting from my left is Angela Hospitch, systems engineer for the TZ500. Next is Saynar Beneviden, project manager for several current client projects, and then Nancy Lauterbach, our COO. They’re here to help me answer any specific questions you have today.

    “Now, with the introductions out of the way, what I’d like to do first is to tell you a little about who we are and what we do….”

    Another day, another proposal, another supplier, another presenter. If the parade has been going on for a couple of days—or even a few hours—you can understand buyer weariness in listening to presenter after presenter, following the same plan: “Good morning. My name is John or Joanna. My team is Tom, Dick, Harriett, Lucinda, and Lupe, and we’re here to talk to you about X.”

    Although you may have never had a client or prospect or your own management team member say “I’m bored” to you directly, you may have sensed the frustration. What can you do different to make your presentation stand out from the crowd of competitors clamoring for the same business? These tips will focus on suggestions dealing with the finer points of sales presentations.

    For a complete guide on making sales presentations, see my book From Contact to Contract, which focuses on organizing and delivering your presentation in great detail—496 tips, in fact!

    Many people consider persuasive presentations to a client or their own executive team the most difficult of all because there is so much at stake in the audience’s action or inaction—a commission check, a promotion, a career.

    Yet practice in persuasion has been plentiful: Have you ever persuaded a professor to change a grade? A store clerk to give you a refund—against published policy? A traffic cop to let you off with only a warning ticket? A seller to negotiate a discount? A date to go out with you? Someone to marry you? A teenager to stay in school? A bureaucrat to make an exception?

    Everybody is in sales. Your job may be to sell your ideas, conclusions, budget, plans, products, or services to an audience of two, 20, or 2000.

  • Page 2


    Tip 1: Make a Conscious Decision About Whether to Present All Options or Only One

    When you're courting several buyers with differing viewpoints, it's natural to think that the more general you can make your presentation and recommendations, the more "hooks" you can create for the bickering buyers to latch on to. In that effort, you tend to explain your recommendations first one way and then another. You use this analogy and that. You think maybe this and maybe that would be part of the final offering. Often, the intention with the elaboration is mentioning something that will appeal to everybody.

    A broad recommendation, however, usually has the opposite effect.

    Everybody hears something that they disagree with. As a result, you wind up spending more time dealing with the minor details and "what you didn't mean to imply" than you do with the general thrust of the proposed offering.

    The group has the sense that your proposal has been thrashed to death, when in reality only the chaff around it has been discarded. Instead, make your proposal succinct, offering only one, specific way. Let it stand there in all its glory until your buyer’s questions force you to add details.

    Tip 2: Analyze the Various Stages of the Customer’s Mind-set to Determine at What Point to Start Your Presentation

    When presenting to a single buyer, address the buyer’s biggest needs first, as your highest priority. Next sort through the plethora of information to select what details to focus on in your discussion, based on your analysis and answers to these key questions: What does your buyer absolutely HAVE to know to decide? What do they already know about the product, service, and solution? What outcome do you want? What other bids have been considered and rejected?

    When presenting to a committee or a group of buyers, let your client contact or sponsor summarize the problem and the cost of the problem before you present your solution. This will set the mood for accepting your solution and positioning its value. Watch the audience to determine your contact’s credibility with the audience. Focusing on the consequence of the problem is almost always more important than focusing on value as a motivator for the group’s decision.

  • About the Author

    Dianna Booher’s extensive and ongoing research and published works in the field of business communication and productivity serve as the foundation for over 40 books on communication skills training . Dianna has received the highest awards in the professional speaking industry, including induction into the CPAE Speaker Hall of Fame®. She is a member of the prestigious Speakers Roundtable. As a result of Dianna's work among top corporations on communication issues, Executive Excellence magazine has recognized Dianna on its list of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in America. Additionally, Successful Meetings magazine named Dianna on its list of 21 Top Speakers for the 21st Century! Dianna has been interviewed by Good Morning America, CNN, CNBC, USA Today, the Washington Post, New York Newsday, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Wall Street Journal Radio, National Public Radio, Bloomberg, Investors Business Daily, Fox Family Network, Reader's Digest, Working Woman, Industry Week, McCall's, Cosmopolitan, Success, Entrepreneur, among other national radio, TV, and newspapers. She holds a master's degree in English from the University of Houston.

$4.95  buy now

Persuasive Presentations

Stand out from the crowd of competitors clamoring for the same business!

This 27-page ebook provides 38 tips to help you focus on the finer points of sales presentations and management presentations. You’ll learn:

  • How to get the get the right people in the room
  • When to stand or sit to best accomplish your purpose
  • When to tell a success story or a failure story to influence a buyer
  • When to use data—and when not
  • How to ask for commitments along the way
  • When to use precise numbers and when to round them off
  • How to identify the best visual support for your message

…and many more tips to improve your presentation skills and bring your listeners to a “”yes”” decision!”

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