I’ve made some great hires and some terrible ones throughout my career, and I’ve noticed one consistent thing that sets the top 1% apart from the rest.
Do you want to know what it was?
That’s it. Clear and simple.
Unfortunately, most people’s presentations come off like an annoying infomercial. Luckily, there’s a science and strategy behind presentations that can be learned and perfected.
Today, I’m going to walk you through a five-step framework for a razor-sharp presentation to 10X your results.
I’ll show you how to execute a powerful and persuasive presentation that taps into the logic of how people make decisions and the emotion that drives buyers to take action NOW.
Let’s get into it.
This stage of the process is about preparation. You gather intel to socially and professionally lubricate your interaction and presentation with your prospect.
Customizing your sales presentation only takes about 15 minutes, but it’s those few crucial minutes of intel gathering that will set you up for success the minute you sit down with your prospect.
Think about who you’re meeting with. Ask yourself:
What are their roles and responsibilities?
What are they passionate about? Sports teams? Non-profit work? Family life? Career advancement?
What are their potential pain-points? What do you think is keeping them awake at night? And what solutions do you have to take away that pain?
Don’t be afraid to dig deep into their life. After all, others are doing it to you!
Take a look at their Facebook and LinkedIn profiles. Do a quick Google search and see what pops up. Spend time imagining what it’s like to be in their shoes, in their role, at their company. Try to identify what’s going on in their head that will logically cause them to make a decision and emotionally drive them to take action.
If you don’t appeal to them professionally, show them you’re human, and appeal to their senses emotionally and logically, they’ll check their phone and check out before you ever finish your pitch.
Everyone has a preferred communication style. That’s just part of what it means to be human. Knowing a prospect’s communication style is the difference between easily floating down a river and trying to swim upstream.
I use the DISC personality profile mapping assessment to identify an individual’s style. With the DISC assessment, there are four types of people, each with their respective styles, but for the sake of a sales presentation, we can break it down into two:
- Leans more towards an extroverted personality
- Dominant and influential
- Wants an executive summary of information to make a decision
- Leans more toward an introverted personality
- Want all the details, and asks a lot of questions
If you bore Group 1 with too many details, they’ll check out. If you’re unprepared and don’t have enough information for Group 2, you’ll stall the sales cycle as they need to “think about it.”
Understanding the way the decision-makers communicate is your key to effectively navigating not only your presentation but life itself.
For a person to buy from you, they need to love your product, your company, and they need to love YOU.
What does that mean?
I’ll give you a hint. It’s not about building rapport. It has nothing to do with talking about shared hobbies — that’s rookie conversation.
Building a powerful and influential connection with your prospect is about seeing below the surface of all that unnecessary stuff.
What drives this person?
What’s most important to them?
People build real connections when they believe they’re communicating with a good human being. You need to establish mutual trust, and you need a shared enthusiasm and passion for the results you’re selling.
Once you establish this connection, you can future pace them. They’ll cling to every word you’re saying because they’ll feel understood and because they feel you’re a person of influence who will solve their problems.
At the end of the day, you need them to want to work with you, want to respond to you, and truly like you before they will consider buying from you.
Can you imagine walking up to a stranger and asking them, “How much money do you make?”
They’d think you’re crazy.
Every presentation involves asking personal questions about pain-points, budget, decision-making process, etc. So, if you haven’t already established a deep connection, these questions will only cause friction.
There are two types of questions you should be asking at each presentation: strategic questions and presentation questions.
The strategic questions you should ask are things like:
What challenges have you or are you experiencing?
What are your top priorities for this project/initiative?
What do you think are the top priorities for the executive sponsor?
How does your organization make decisions for solutions like this?
What other departments do you need to collaborate with?
What is the evaluation process for this solution?
Who is the budget owner for this currently, and who do they report up to?
What competitors are you currently evaluating?
Your presentation questions push the prospect towards a commitment. These questions should get micro-commitments from your prospects throughout your presentation. They should also help you learn as much about their personal views and their company’s situation as possible.
Have a couple of questions ready for each slide to create engagement, dialogue, and feedback.
Remember, your presentation isn’t a word vomit. It’s a conversation.
And have fun!
At this point, you’ve gone through all four framework steps. You did your intel gathering. You’ve communicated effectively, with authority, by presenting yourself as an expert in your field. You’ve built a rock-solid connection. And you’ve asked the right questions.
So, now, how do you circle back for the sale?
Thankfully, it’s simple. All you need is to identify your solution to the problems you discovered in your questioning and research and determine (based on their communication style) the most effective way of communicating your solutions to them.
Loop back to the benefit your solution will provide and how it will make them, their employees, and their customers feel. What’s the emotional charge that’ll happen? And then, logically, what’s the business case that backs up that emotion?
Your closing questions should be powerful, and they should naturally lead to a decision from the prospect.
What are the top benefits you think this solution could deliver for you and your organization?
Is there any reason why this wouldn’t make sense for you to pursue now?
Is there any reason why your boss may not see this the way you and I do?
How does <insert date and time> work for us to meet as a group to work through the next steps?
Create emotion, make a mechanically, solid, logical case for your product, and then proceed to close and calendar out the next step in the process.
Focus on improving your presentation skills, and you’ll begin to see huge results from your presentations.
Add me on LinkedIn and let me know what this insight did for your conversion rate!