Customer dialogue best practices: excel at sales conversations in 7 steps.
Being a salesperson nowadays is tougher than ever: B2B buying
If prepared well, your presentation can bring in clients, but if it’s disorganized or flat out boring, it will make you lose sales instead.
Imagine you are attending a sales presentation. The presenter comes in, begins the presentation, and starts reading plain text from an overcrowded slide. You are barely a few seconds into the presentation but you are already starting to be bored and disengaged.
Letting clients choose the direction is a good way to make your presentation interactive.
It’s important to create a connection with your potential clients right from the start. This can be as easy as introducing yourself and asking the clients to introduce themselves. You can also ask them what elements of your presentation they want to cover first, showing them that the presentation is a dialogue rather than a monologue.
Your presentation doesn’t have to be linear either. Letting clients choose the direction is a good way to make your presentation interactive. The clients will enjoy the option and the first impression will be positive. Now that you have started on the right foot, the next tips help you maintain this level of interactivity throughout the presentation.
Static presentations with plain text on a plain background might have worked in 2000, but they no longer do. If your presentation uses that style, your potential clients will likely have an immediate negative bias.
Nowadays, online tools offer many design features that let you create a beautiful and interactive presentation with a consistent theme. Those options exist because the human eye is inevitably attracted to interactive elements. Online tools offer features to make a presentation interactive and easier to follow by adding visual supports and efficient slide and content navigation features.
A successful pitch is as much about content as it is about delivery.
Additionally, when you move to a new slide, you don’t have to show all its content right away. Doing so can be confusing and your clients might be distracted by all the new content instead of listening to you. Play with the options you have to control the way your content appears on each slide. This lets you show new content only when it’s time, ensuring the clients concentrate on your explanation rather than on the slide itself.
If you can’t keep the attention of your potential clients, your content will not come across, no matter how relevant it is.
Do you remember when we were kids and our parents read us stories? Most of us were captivated from the start and hung on every word. While we are no longer attracted to the same tales, stories in general still attract our attention more than we think.
Stories in pitches are an excellent way to present information or data in a concrete and tangible way using situations, scenarios, or companies we know. They allow us to create a connection and increase our ability to relate to them and remember them.
Plan time during your pitch to take questions.
This has many benefits as it:
Keeps them involved in an interactive exchange
Reviews part of the material covered
Maintains your clients’ attention
It can be very useful to adjust your pitch for subsequent meetings based in the comments. You can also bait clients into participating by asking for their opinion, starting an open-ended discussion based on the material covered, or asking them a question you thought might have come up.
There’s nothing better and more interactive than covering real cases to make clients participate and understand better. It’s also an excellent way of showing how your product works in reality, not just with theoretical examples. These cases will be particularly interesting to keep your prospective clients focused and engaged as they try to figure how they can benefit from the product themselves.
An example could be; client A has used product A in 70 meetings and have doubled their revenue in the process. They have doubled their meetings per week and their entire process is now more effective as a result of using product A.
Real cases are more compelling and impactful than theoretical cases.
This way your clients can see the value your product or service can potentially bring them. Using real customer cases is also a good way to give clients confidence. It shows that your product has clients, has performed positively and can do it again in other circumstances. It can make clients think that their situation can become a success story that you will one day present in other pitches. Real cases are more compelling and impactful than theoretical cases.
In sales pitches, you will surely talk about numbers. The challenge is talking about numbers in a way that is not boring. Are you thinking spreadsheets? That’s not very interesting: many tables with small numbers or navigating through cells and sheets are not appealing. Instead of relying on spreadsheets, consider using an interactive calculator.
This tool is a fast, easy, and compelling way to present numbers and show how your customer’s perceived value can evolve based on different factors. Your clients will follow your pitch more easily and remain attentive when the focus is on them, not generic numbers or cases. In addition to saving you time and making your part on numbers more interesting, this tool increases the interactivity of your presentation and lets clients explore other scenarios easily by simply asking you to type different numbers. It’s better to adapt your pitch to your clients than to expect your clients to adapt to your pitch.
You should consider adding personal elements related to your sales pitch if you can and if they are relevant. They can help your prospective clients connect with you as you are no longer an orator or presenter, but rather become the trusted advisor, speaking from experience.
Expanding on tip #3, you could also consider telling personal stories. If your clients can relate to a story, imagine the connection you can create if you are the protagonist of your story. You are sure to attract and maintain everyone’s attention as you share your knowledge acquired through first-hand experiences.
In sales presentations, keep your slides simple. Only include key images, concepts, and keywords, and present them in a simple and effective way. You should also limit to one slide per idea. Use layers too.
Remember that your presentation is not a teleprompter or a book. It is merely one of many visual aids you can leverage to help you drive your point. The last thing you want to do is bore your potential clients.
If you do not support your message with visuals, 3 days later you will only remember 10 percent.
To your prospective clients, your presentation should be an element that helps identify your main ideas. If you have too much text on your slides, they will likely try to read it all and run the risk of missing your key explanations. Clear and simple slides are better and more efficient.
When creating an interactive presentation, it is very important to include visual images that are connected to the value you are trying to convey. If you do not support your message with visuals, 3 days later you will only remember 10 percent. However, if you DO support your message with visuals, three days later you will remember 65 percent – Brain Rules.
Our last tip is an obvious one that is often overlooked or ignored altogether. The core of your presentation is your preparation.
Doing thorough research on your client as well as asking the right questions in a needs discovery will get you along way.
Do you know how to convey your value and do you know where the value is for your client?
Are you understanding your client’s needs and pain points?
Remember that preparing a successful pitch takes time and organization. Follow our tips on how to make your presentation interactive. They will help you keep your prospective clients’ attention and make them more receptive to your message. This will increase your capacity to convert pitches into sales.
If you want to learn more about how sales enablement can transform your sales, then join our sales enablement webinars.
Being a salesperson nowadays is tougher than ever: B2B buying
Everyone knows sellers need good sales collaterals to engage buyers,
Wouldn’t it be great to have a crystal ball that
You’ve just closed a sale and your new customer is