For many professionals (consultants, designers, architects, etc.), presentations are a key aspect of the sales cycle that can't be ignored. Let's face it, you've got a lot riding on how you look, what you say, and the way you answer questions. In order to get more new clients, you must become a master of the art of a quality presentation.
A successful presenter is one who comes across as confident, creative, and convincing. Here are some key features of a winning presentation:
1. Be prepared: Know your subject intimately. Be ready to answer questions and describe the benefits to your client in detail. Well in advance, brainstorm your client's potential objections and have a solution prepared.
2. Create rapport: Don't be so focused on the presentation that you forget to nurture the relationship you are building with your clients. They want to know what type of person you are.
3. Present by objectives: With each component that you present, explain its advantages and how it will help your client achieve their specific goals.
4. Show one concept at a time: Don't place all your cards on the table. Each idea deserves special attention. If a client looks at work before it's formally presented, he or she may form negative opinions before hearing its merits. 5. Describe, then show: It's important to take it slow, giving your audience time to absorb each concept. Explain the details of each idea BEFORE you display it.
6. Let 'em hold it: Once you put something in someone's hands, they begin to feel ownership. Let your client get involved in your creative process. Encourage questions and discussions.
7. Keep it simple: Keep your description direct, clear, and concise. Don't oversell with long-winded explanations. Good ideas don't need to be pushed.
8. Leave informed: Make sure you are clear on how you will move forward. You may have to be the one to say, "So, what are our next steps?" Your client may not have a definitive answer, so be prepared to define this. For example, you may suggest a specific date for a follow-up call or meeting.
Practice makes perfect. If you aren't comfortable with making presentations, role-play with an associate or friend. You can also perform in front of a mirror. Observe your posture and mannerisms. Are you fidgeting? Do you maintain eye contact? Are you ready to persuade and make a call to action?
ACTION ITEM: Examine your presentation style by asking for a second opinion from someone you trust. This isn't easy to do, but if you use this feedback to improve your skills, you will reap the rewards.
Copyright 2006 Marketing Maven
Wendy Maynard, your friendly Marketing Maven, publishes REMARKABLE MARKETING, a weekly marketing ezine for business owners, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. If you're ready to skyrocket your sales, easily attract customers, and have more fun, subscribe now at http://www.gomarketingmaven.com