A few years ago, a good friend and awesome entrepreneur shared with me a secret for building great presentations. Although there are many different recipes for success, I cherish this one. It’s simple to understand, but still, requires a lot of hard work.
1. Hit your audience with what’s in it for them.
It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But let me tell you a story.
Once upon a time, I did a pitch for the marketing department of a multinational corporation. I really had a great idea on how they could enhance the way they market their products -you have to believe me, I did!
The pitch was absolutely amazing (I thought) but I didn’t feel the traction and couldn’t really put my finger on why the audience didn’t burst with joy and roll out the carpet for me.
After my unbelievable performance, I got to spend a bit of time with one of the marketing executives. Eventually, I popped the question: Why?
The answer was so simple, I promised myself that I would never make the same mistake again! He told me this: “Our people are good people, but they simply work here. Your idea is good for the company, but implementing it would mean more hard work and they are already very busy. If you want them on board, you have to reduce their workload… you just did the opposite.”
I’m a passionate entrepreneur, so I was excited about the prospect of improving a process for the benefit of the company. The problem was, I hadn't hit my audience with what was in it for them, but with what was in it for the company.
The lesson: Do your homework! Find out what your audience really needs. It’s not always what you think.
2. Give them good reasons to believe.
Now that they are hanging upon your every word and shaken by the prospect of changing their life for the better, you have to explain how you will make it happen!
At this point, they will be looking for proof and, remember, they will be stuck between two internal voices. The pragmatic voice of the eternal skeptic saying “bring it on, liar” and the emotional voice of the eternal dreamer saying “Impress me, I want to believe and find illumination.” You are walking on thin ice -your next slide, your next word can make them fall on one side or the other.
Stay composed, there is hope! Be authentic and prepare for the last judgement!
3. Express you dramatic difference.
Now that you've succeeded through the first and second challenge skillfully, you have to close with a clear answer to the ultimate question: Why you? What makes you the best answer to my problem or need?
You sold the right benefit and you gave them reasons to believe! Now, don’t leave without explaining how your dramatic difference, you uniqueness makes you the best candidate to implement the change, to provide the product or service!
After executing the third step with ease, look back with pride… you have mastered the 3 pillars of a Successful Sales Presentation.