Three Keys to Persuasive Presentations

Last week, I discussed one of the biggest issues managers face today: Their originators cannot present effectively to clients and prospects.

With most originators averaging 20 years in the business, the question is how has this happened? In my opinion, managers have been lulled into thinking that “experienced” originators have the skills to present effectively when the reality is that years in the business does not translate into effectively persuading new clients.

I would argue that the skill of presenting has been diluted by an overload of information (and information tools such as Powerpoint) and the misconception that our products or services will sell themselves if we provide enough information. In the meantime, the originators have forgotten their role which is to have someone take an action step. In many ways, a persuasive presentation is always centered on building an argument and concluding with a call of action.

Somewhere along the way, originators have fallen into the trap that they should be objective or unbiased. Being unbiased is fine for an academic teacher, but for a sales person that is not a position that sustains success.

What does a persuasive presentation look like? In the New Sales Speak by Terri Sjodin, there are three critical elements that every presentation should address:

1. How does your product or service benefit the buyer? This involves asking the right questions before offering a conclusion; it is more than providing features and benefits.

2. Have you outlined a logical argument as to why making a change from the present condition to a future condition makes sense? Can you describe what you want prospects to do to achieve it?

3. Have you defined the problem in a way that conveys if the prospect don’t work with you now, he or she will be in a worse position down the road? This is the call to action phase of the presentation.

What are you doing today to ensure that your originators are effective presenters?