While many of us conduct a large portion of our daily business using computers and phones, in-person presentations remain an important component to successful selling. It’s still essential for business owners to know how to prepare for face-to-face time with prospective clients.
Here are five easy ways to ensure that you’re confident and ready to go for your next sales presentation:
Polish Your Presentation Skills
Persuasive, professional presentation skills become increasingly important as you grow a business. While it’s important to consider what you say, the delivery of your content is equally as essential. Consider how to connect with your audience emotionally and how you can stress the benefits of what you’re trying to sell. After that, develop the necessary presentation tools (PowerPoint slides, video, flip charts, handouts, etc.) to create a strong and compelling impact, and practice presenting until you feel comfortable and confident.
Conduct Your Due Diligence
Before you jump in to make a pitch to a potential new client, it’s always a good idea to gather as much information about the specific people who will be attending the presentation. Much information can be found on the internet through searches on Google, Twitter and Facebook. LinkedIn can also be helpful; it enables you to review company profiles and individual employees. Don’t forget to check your network to see if you have any first- or second-degree contacts at the company who may be able to give you some specific insight on firm culture and priorities.
Create an Agenda
Your clients are busy people. The goal should be to keep your meeting as brief as possible while also covering your key points. Avoid discussing so many details that it results in confusing or boring your audience. Then, arrange how you will deliver your content from start to finish.
Make a Good Impression
It only takes seconds for a potential client to form an opinion about you based upon your appearance, body language, demeanor or mannerisms. Creating a good first impression cannot be stressed enough. Present yourself appropriately, show up on time, turn off your phone during the meeting and be open and confident. Much of making a good first impression is just common sense, and by investing a little time and thought, you can present yourself effectively.
Finally, be ready for what may come after the presentation. Will the attendees want a formalized proposal? Do they want to see samples or call references? Make sure that you have these items ready to go, in case they’re requested. The sooner you can follow up with what audience members want, the more likely you’ll be to win their business.
Originally published Aug 19, 2011, updated Sep 02, 2021