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Sales Solutions
Optimizing Effectiveness in Group Presentations

vol 1, issue #1
July 1, 2003

Group presentations to a buying team at a prospect's office are, for many of you, an essential part of the sales process. In fact, an effective presentation can make - or break - any deal. Therefore, you need to make sure you do everything you can to ensure that your presentation is so effective it shuts out your competition, and makes you the clear favorite. Does this make sense? Of course it does! But just how do we accomplish this? Well, there are many ways to do so - we'll share one in today's tip.

For many of us, the road to a group presentation is paved by spending 4-5 hours creating a customized PowerPoint presentation and rehearsing it until we can deliver it in our sleep. Now, there's nothing wrong with that..I myself have done it dozens of times. But will that alone do it? Well, let's think about this for a minute - if six, or eight, or ten people are being invited to hear you present, don't you think there are reasons these people are being asked to take time out from the other responsibilities they have (and for which they are being paid) to attend this meeting? Of course there are! Because these people are going to have - to varying degrees - a say in which vendor gets selected. Since each of these people will have his or her own issues, fears, worries, concern, biases, etc, wouldn't it be helpful to you to know what these are going into the meeting? And don't you think these people will appreciate your contacting them to ask them what's important to them? How do you think that will make you look in their eyes, especially as compared to your competitors who never bothered to do what you did? Pretty good, I think!

Action item:
Prior to your next group presentation, ask your champion (1) to share with you who will be in attendance and (2) for permission to contact each. Position this request as a benefit for him or her ("It's been my experience, Mr./Ms. Champion, that we'll be better able to get buy-in from them to support your project if they've had a chance to speak with the presenter before hand."). Then call each one, spending no more than 3-5 minutes with each. Sure, it'll take some time, and you won't reach everyone, and they won't all be so impressed that you called, but I think you'll agree that it can't hurt, and - more often than not - it will help you close more business.

Good Selling!

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