There’s an art to presenting the services your company provides. To enhance the professionalism of your presentation, you need a well thought out visual aid most commonly called a sales deck or slide presentation. Getting a marketing company involved in the creation of this important tool is usually a very good investment. But completing a deck is not the end of the process, it’s the beginning.
We’ve helped dozens of companies coach their sales teams on how to maximize the benefits of using a visual aid to present their services. First thing you need to do is define the purpose of each slide or page. Then write down exactly what you want your team to say and I mean exactly word for word what you want them to say. The best way to train a team on word tracks is to require them to memorize them. Don’t worry, you’re not going to build a team of robots. There are three big benefits to memorizing what you want sales associates to say about each slide or page. The first is, it frees up brain space which I’ll get into later, the second is that you know that your team understands the meaning of each slide or page and the flow of your presentation and the third is your prospects will hear the story that you want told about your company and the services you provide.
After an associate can present your services exactly how you want them to, let them re-write the story in their words and have them present to you again. This exercise is also a great opportunity to create some competition amongst your sales team. The first contest should be a word for word version of how you want it done, the second contest should be in their own words. Peer to peer coaching is one of the most effective forms of training. Make sure that people are learning from each other and staying in-line with your direction.
Diligent practice will set you up for a smooth and successful presentation because it will free up brain space for all the other tasks that come with making a sales pitch. During a sales presentation, we’re asking our brains to take on a lot. Work a computer (hand to eye coordination), focus on a deck, (processing what the message is on each page and understanding what’s on the next page). Thinking about “the best” way to tell the story of each page. Listening to the prospects questions, thinking about why their asking the question, watching the prospect’s body language and the list goes on and on…. The bottom line is that our brains can’t focus on all those things at the same time. Something is going to “give.” Something is not going to get 100%. The solution is to put one of those brain tasks on autopilot, so it just happens without thinking about it. Let’s look at our options, you can’t put observing the prospect on Auto-Pilot, the computer you use won’t automatically move through the presentation and you can’t effectively listen without intent. When our brain is occupied with these other tasks during a presentation, it’s almost impossible to look at a slide, stop and think about what you need to say, how you’re going to say it, how you’re going to tie in whatever is coming up next. If you know exactly what you’re going to say, not only are you going to free up brain space, you’re also going to sound more confident, polished and prepared.
Once you’ve memorized your presentation, you can start using techniques that increase your prospects retention. Don’t make the mistake of assuming they’re going to remember everything you say, or even that they’re going to remember the key takeaways about your services. Our video “Powerful Presentations” demonstrates several techniques that will guarantee people remember exactly what you want them to remember from your presentation.