The presentation is the shop window of the Sales professional.
The way you present your solutions to prospective clients can mean the difference between success and failure.
How can you make sure your presentations do justice to your offering – and win you the business? We have some tips to help.
1. Be creative
Once, sales proposal = PowerPoint.
This is no longer a given – interactive pdfs and a wealth of other solutions for delivering presentations mean PowerPoint is no longer ubiquitous. Nonetheless, many sales presentations do still use PowerPoint as their basis – and whatever platform you use, there’s no excuse for a lack of creativity.
Your presentation needs to make you stand out. It needs to be memorable. It also needs to answer the questions your prospect has – style at the expense of substance is never going to win you the pitch.
Getting a balance between creative presentation and including everything you have been asked for is one of the golden rules of sales presentations. The secret lies in adopting an exam-like technique: make sure you really understand what your audience wants to know, and then give it to them in a way that answers their questions comprehensively yet concisely.
2. Make your message clear
Key to passing this ‘exam’ is your ability to deliver messages clearly. Often, the client’s challenges and your solutions to them are complex and multi-faceted. But you need to explain them in a way that you can convey in a short space of time, in order to do justice to the products and services you offer.
Charts and imagery can make the difference here. If a picture tells a thousand words, a chart, surely, has to be worth a couple of hundred…
You can shortcut a lot of explanation by using graphs and charts to illustrate the points you want to make. Read our tips on making your PowerPoint charts better to ensure yours are up to scratch.
3. Be efficient in your presentation production
While producing presentations is a core element of your role, it’s probably not your favourite part.
If you can cut the time you spend producing professional sales documents, you can devote more time to getting out, meeting prospects, understanding their issues and – ultimately – winning business.
Read our tips for cutting the time you spend on your sales presentations to carve out more space for the parts of your job you really enjoy.
4. Get branding under control
It can be disheartening – not to mention stressful when you’re up against a deadline – to spend hours on a presentation only to have it knocked back by your Marketing team for being off-brand.
Avoid this by creating a library of on-brand document templates, making sure you are always on-point when it comes to your corporate brand.
With approved fonts, colours and styles locked down, there’s no way to inadvertently produce an off-key presentation. A suite of templates can save you hours in creating documents, as well as reducing the admin and rework required when your work is rejected by Marketing.
5. Don't forget compliance
If you work in a regulated industry, it’s not just the Marketing team you have to consider. Compliance approval is equally, if not more, important.
Having your presentation rejected by your Compliance team can frustrate your attempts to meet client deadlines. It also means unwanted extra work as you correct errors or edit content that would fall foul of the FCA.
You don’t just have to comply with the regulator’s general financial promotion rules, but also with specific requirements set by individual regulations – MiFID II, for instance.
Creating a library of approved content can help here. Drawing on material you know is correct – whether it relates to AUM, company information or anything else – means you can be confident that your presentation is up to date and accurate. No more cutting and pasting from old presentations and running the risk of using outdated figures.
Creating engaging, compliant sales presentations, in a way that maximises the time you have to spend on other parts of your job, is an essential skill for all sales professionals.
Follow these tips and you will be on your way to producing more professional, successful presentations. For more advice and time-saving suggestions, you can read our tipsheet, 7 tips for creating compliant sales presentations. The tipsheet is free, and you can download your copy here.
Nothing in this document should be treated as an authoritative statement of the law. Action should not be taken as a result of this document alone. We make no warranty and accept no responsibility for consequences arising from relying on this document.