I give PowerPoint presentations all the time when I introduce my company, my technologies, and my vendor partnerships. I try to learn and deliver different approaches and strategies for not boring my customer to death.
I like Jill Konrath’s blog:
“Kiss Your Boring Sales Presentation Goodbye – And Do This Instead”
Right away she recommends staging a “rich, compelling experience” which makes sense. I’ve been there before, talking before the disinterested and disenchanted faces of potential customers when their eyes glaze over, they half listen, and have in their minds an already made decision to continue to do business like they’ve always done before, with their incumbent partners, and are not going to spend a nickel with me.
I like the lead in and the focus on “why change,” facilitating conversations like:
- The issues/challenges faced by your typical customers
- The business results attained by your customer base
- Emerging trends or evolving market dynamics
- Your prospect’s objectives, priorities and challenges
Moving these slides to first in line will be the first thing I do for my next presentation. Just bringing these topics to the forefront immediately will engage and begin potential conversations that will lead into what your product or service might be able to address and deliver for their specific environment. And it’s all about the sentence, sentence, question! In other words, keep the customer engaged with interesting questions that require a response and don’t let them fall asleep:
- Case studies, you might ask: How similar is this to your situation? Have you experienced these issues? What are you trying to do to drive better results?
- Industry trends, you might ask: How are they impacting your business today? What initiatives do you have in place to capitalize on them? What worries you the most?
Insightful questions drive value in the eyes of the customer. The customer begins to think that you actually care, that you are consultative, that you are customer service and solutions oriented rather than just another salesperson giving another pitch. Like Konrath discusses in her blog, you have to deliver value to the customer and establish credibility by demonstrating that you can bring many new ideas and offerings to the table that they haven’t heard before. Most importantly, customers don’t have all the answers all the time and they need, they want, guidance and you need to show them, often, the best methodology, approach, or practice to single yourself out from the competition.