How’s your sales presentation?

Successful brokers use great sales presentations. Always in my experience. How good is yours?

As part of my work with brokers, I ask them to show me their sales presentations. Some look blankly at me, some fish out a hodgepodge of PowerPoint slides that have obviously been cut and pasted from different presentation over the years. However some really blow me away with the quality of their presentations, both in terms of the preparation of really impressive material and then also in the delivery method. They are obviously very well practiced. What’s the impact? Well, it leaves me thinking every time, “this is the sort of adviser I want!”

Sales presentations with prospective clients, particularly at the first meeting are critical to get right. The client will very quickly begin to form an opinion of you so it is very important that you open impressively with them. Lack of preparation and “winging it” will very quickly become apparent.

If you’ve spent hours making dozens of lead generation calls and developing potential relationships with clients, then the last thing you want to do is blow it through lack of preparation of your sales presentations!

Here are some easy steps to creating more effective sales presentations;

Don’t just have a chat!
Don’t have the first meeting with an empty page. While you obviously can’t pre-prepare for every part of the meeting, I firmly believe you need to set the agenda and drive the meeting. This can best be achieved by having a roadmap for the meeting; at a minimum a written agenda, preferably a visual map of how you advise clients or walking through a corporate brochure that shows how you are different from the rest.

Better still, use technology. Prepare a short, visual presentation demonstrating how you add value to your clients and load it onto a tablet. These are great for 1:1 meetings.

The other benefit of this approach is that it stops you diving immediately into problem-solving mode. It gives you the opportunity to get breathing space to demonstrate how you are different to other advisers.

Have a take-away
In addition to the presentation (or brochure), have a copy for the client to take away from the meeting. They may want to mull over some of the points again. At a minimum, they’ll favourably compare your preparation to that of less active advisers. Best case? They may come back looking for further clarification of your approach! This will allow you the opportunity to demonstrate your expertise again.

Know the logistics
It might sound obvious but be really clear who you’re meeting and their position in the company. Research them beforehand, check them out if possible on the company website and their LinkedIn profile if they have one. It’s amazing what this might reveal – common interests, maybe you went to the same school or have common LinkedIn connections. All of these are opportunities to build sociability.

Also know how many people you’re meeting and if more than one, try to find out about where you’re meeting. If you’re meeting a group of people, there’s no point turning up with one paper copy of a presentation! You might need a projector etc.

Finally, have enough business cards for everyone and your take-away document for “everyone in the audience!” Preparing properly will help you to take control of the meeting and direct it as you require.

Get ready for the speed-bumps
Now the best laid presentations rarely go without some sort of a curve ball thrown at you. Spend time beforehand thinking of potential awkward questions and how you’re going to deal with them. As new difficult questions are asked, deal with them as best you can but also take note of them mentally. Spend time afterwards reviewing how you dealt with them and capture this. It’ll help you in future presentations.

Also take note of areas that clients just weren’t “getting”. Is there a better way to get your point across? Seek help if need be from a colleague or peer who might show you a better way.

Practice and then practice again
Winging it just doesn’t work, you’re going to make mistakes. There’s nothing worse than someone stumbling aimlessly along, unsure of what they’re going to say next. Now you might get away with it, but sometimes, the mistakes come through with the important clients. Road test your approach on a colleague, family member, anyone who won’t cost you a lost sale!

I’ve been dealing with one brilliant adviser in recent months. He has asked to road test his full introductory meeting and advice process on me. A great idea as he can make all the mistakes he likes and hopefully I can give some constructive opinion of the meeting. In any event, this guy is always very well prepared so I’m looking forward to being wowed by his approach!

At the end of the day, you can’t be too well prepared for a sales presentation. Don’t worry about sounding scripted, in fact you’ll sound far more natural as you’ll have confidence as a result of your preparation.

I hope these points help you deliver more effective sales presentations. I welcome any comments you might leave below.

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