You finally got her on a date and you spend the first 30 minutes gnawing on your steak talking only about yourself… trying to impress her.  Well, go ahead and can kiss this one goodbye.  First base? Fuhgeddaboudit. What’s different between a date and a sales pitch? Not much!

Your sales team is loyal, talented and spicy.  You want to elevate their success. But do they lack salt?  To put a finer point on it… do they know how to make their prospect thirsty?

Start with a Customized Presentation. “From the times of Aristotle, all persuasive communication has aimed to speak to the mind and to the heart. A good presentation has the facts delivered in an emotionally appealing way.”- Markus Lehto.  You can speak to the mind once the heart is tuned in.  Ask yourself – what does my prospect care about?  Research not only the company but also people you are speaking to.  Take the time to incorporate their identity into your presentation (logo, product pics) but also their interests, their groups, yes, even their competitors.  Social media is a catalogue of what is important to their company and to them personally.

Briefly introduce your company and provide credibility.  Try to use third party testimonials or statistical information to avoid the nauseating ‘we are so great’ routine.  This NOT the time to provide solutions.  Establish your brand and maintain it going forward throughout the presentation.  The brain prefers pattern and predictability.  If you have your logo on every slide and the same brand identity unique to your company throughout the presentation it establishes credibility and confidence.  Don’t switch it up and use different types of images or different typography.  Keep it consistent.  Having a presentation designer can help elevate your deck to the next level.

Pour on the Salt.  Now is the time to dig into the needs of their company and tell their story.   Make this about them, not you.  Demonstrate that you recognize their strengths and their pain points.  This is only possible if you’ve taken the time to understand their perspective.  They say people only care what you know if they know that you care.  Care about their problems and make them thirsty for the solution… your solution.

Play the Hero.  Haven’t you always wanted to play the Hero?  Now is your big chance – by providing the answers to their problems. Instead of telling the solution, SHOW them.  Provide examples of how your product or service has solved problems for others just like them.  Paint the picture of how much better their company will operate once they have your solution.  Draw in points that you made early when you discussed their pain points.

Room for Listening.  Ask questions and be prepared to confidently answer theirs.  Create a conversation and fall away from a one-way lecture style pitch.  Recognize that while some make decisions on logic, others draw on their emotions and intuition. 

Final Impact.   Paint a picture of a grand vision you want to help them accomplish.  Help them take a step forward toward your product or service by establishing and scheduling the next step in the process, while realizing this isn’t a final decision point.

Remember, giving a pitch deck is about helping someone find the solutions you can provide.  The benefits will be well worth the time they have invested, and they will be grateful you took the time to understand their company and needs.  When you take the time to be presentation ready, it will pay off big.

Pamela Schwartz
Presentation Designer