1. Own the room. Your most important tactic is to control the space in which you are meeting. If the presentation is at your headquarters, you can assign seats, issue name tags, and provide table tents. But if–more likely–your team is presenting at the prospective customer’s site, how can you own the room?
- First, be absolutely certain that you know who will be in attendance. Check and double check with your key contact(s) and their staff.
- Match up your presenters with their attendees. Be certain that everyone on your team knows who they are responsible for on the whale buyers’ team.
- Show up early. Bring table tents. Place them where you want them. Intersperse their team with your team.
- If you are providing handouts or presenting any kind of digital presentation, own your technology and arrive in plenty of time to be certain it will work in their space.
- Only use slides if you have powerful visual images to present.
- Use no text on your slides–visual images only.
- Insert short audio or video into your slides.
- Ensure that no one on your team is watching the slides while they are being presented.
3. Rehearse. Bring your “boat” [hunt team] together to practice the sales presentation. Ensure that everyone knows this is a professional business proposal taking place in an intense business development context for your company.
- Be sure that each person has his or her power tools, power points, and power questions.
- Rehearse with an internal and/or external team of supporters who will role play the potential client.
- Be very clear who on your team will field questions from the prospect and direct them to the appropriate person on your team. This person should not be the lead presenter.
4. Train. If you and/or your most important subject matter experts are not skilled presenters, invest in some presentation skills training. Your media/PR firm can help, or your local Toastmasters, or a training firm such as Dale Carnegie–the options are almost innumerable.
Prepare everyone to speak comfortably in a sales/new business setting.
- Provide everyone with the confidence needed to present assertively.
- Communicate how important their performance is to your company’s growth.
- Praise and reward great participation.
You will find that great presentations not only increase your close rate but also energize your team to bring the new customer on board. They will form priceless relationships with the end users on the customer side, and they will look forward to doing the new business.