It’s time: Update your sales presentation so they sell during COVID-19

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Everything has changed in the Coronavirus age. Have your sales presentations?

If you haven’t updated your sales presentation, it could be the reason you’re selling less. While many blame the pandemic and current economy for lower sales, it could in fact be how you’re presenting yourself, your business and product and service offerings.

Here are some proven ways to modernize your sales pitch presentation so it resonates with people today.

1. Create a visual of “before” and “after.”

At a time when everyone is busy and unfocused, grab their attention with a clear picture of their life right now vs. after your business enters it.

Keep it simple. Use an easy-to-understand statement and corresponding image to explain what’s wrong with their life right now that you can make better. Then, sum up in a simple sentence how the products or services offered by your business will improve things and capture it in a picture–one that gets them to say “A-ha!”

The problem with many old school sales pitches is that they don’t get to the point quickly… or ever. Doing so will grab people’s attention and demonstrate why it’s worth paying attention to the rest of your pitch.

Let’s say you’re selling computer services to retailers during COVID-19. Your example could be:

  • Before: You’re losing more than half your sales because most people today want to shop online.
  • After: We’ll help you more than double your sales by moving your operation online quickly and securely.

Whether you’re updating your sales presentation or creating a new one from scratch, the first thing you should do is come up with your before and after story. If you find it challenging, the content experts at SketchDeck are available to help–simply provide your contact information here.

2. Prove that you understand their pain.

The issue with most traditional sales presentations is that they’re mostly about the business, not the buyer. At a time when people are going through a lot, it is critical for you to show that you get it. 

So, stop making presentations about your company and shift the focus to your customers.

Ask yourself: What pain are they experiencing today that you can help with?

Once you understand that, craft your presentations around it and tell your story from their perspective. It will transform you from being just another person selling them things into a helpful, understanding friend. 

Bonus points: Take your presentation to the next level and find ways to quantify the problem.

  • Is it reducing revenue by a certain percentage?
  • Could it be forcing them to waste a defined amount of time?
  • Are they losing a particular number of clients to the competition?

If you can paint a clear picture of the problems your clients are facing and demonstrate that you empathize with them, you’ll build trust and a unique connection with prospective customers that could last a lifetime. This approach goes far beyond selling and lays a solid foundation for a long-term business relationship.

3. Paint a broader picture of the future.

Early in your presentation, you gave prospective buyers a peek at what their world could be like if they choose to work with you. Now, it’s time to expand on it by diving deeper into how your business offerings will make their lives better.

Old school presentations explain what products and services do. New age ones show what the customer can do with them.

For this to work, you need to:

  • Make the customer see the outcome they can expect to achieve by partnering with you.
  • Think about being able to double your sales with fewer resources.”
  • Explain what actions buyers need to take to achieve the desired outcome.
  • “All you need to do is install our software and train your team to use it. It takes one day or less to implement.”
  • Help them feel the benefits of working with you.  
  • “Imagine how you’ll feel when you report the increase in sales and improved efficiency to the people on your leadership team.”

4. Prove it.

It’s not enough to say the right things in your presentations–you need to prove them as well. Otherwise, your presentation will fall flat after an extraordinary build up.

If you’ve done everything right up to this point, your prospects should have made the emotional decision to buy. Now, it’s time to provide the evidence to support all you’ve said.

There are two parts to providing proof:

  • Show value: Use case studies, testimonials or customer stories to show that other people similar to those you’re presenting to achieve similar results. In the past, it may have been enough to do this with a client photo and a quote on a slide. Today, you must make it real by capturing these things on video or through a series of meaningful, real-world images.
  • Show other success stories: No one wants to be the one and only to buy what you’re selling. Prove that your business has achieved similar results for a significant number of other clients. Avoid the old-school logo collage of all your customers, though. Use a select few that are meaningful to the client, then provide deeper information on how you positively impacted their operations.

5. Tie it together into a story.

All of the previous steps have given you the building blocks to create a successful sales pitch. However, unless you turn all of it into a comprehensive story, it’s not worth much.

Building your sales pitch around a narrative will keep people engaged. In fact, studies show that in self guided presentations, people are more than 60 to 70% more likely to complete them if they’re built around a narrative.

With that said, your story should not be lengthy. Keep it tight, limiting its length to whatever it takes to make your point.

A good rule of thumb is to keep presentations under 10 minutes–the limit of most people’s attention spans–unless your product and service offerings are particularly complex. This allows two thirds of the time in a half hour meeting for open dialogue and Q&A, which can both make sales pitches more meaningful and valuable.

6. Make it right for today’s virtual sales environment.

The COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed how people sell. There’s little in-person activity anymore–instead, it’s all about webcams and Zoom meetings. The old point and click in a conference room is a thing of the past.

As a result, it’s more important than ever to leverage great design that communicates effectively to help tell your story long distance. Don’t view this new virtual sales environment as a limitation–look at it as an opportunity. It’s a way to use more powerful tactics and techniques to close bigger deals faster.

By moving away from slides presented in person to virtual visual experiences, it’s less likely that people will spend their time reading bullet points on slides. Instead, they’ll listen to you, pay attention to you, and understand the concepts your visuals are conveying. This lets the narrative you’ve worked so hard to craft to really shine through.

7. Ditch the canned sales presentations.

No two buyers are alike, as are no two presenters. That’s why it’s important for you to create presentations that allow for customization.

Make sure presentations can be optimized on the fly so they can reflect any customer’s pain points and individual needs. In addition, provide opportunities for salespeople to insert their own words and personalities in them, within brand and legal standards. This will help customer interactions feel more like open and honest dialogues rather than canned sales presentations.

8. Leave a little something out.

When you craft your presentations, leave out a fact, figure or beneficial feature. After all, you need to follow up with buyers after your sales meetings, whether it’s over the phone or via email.

At the end, include a little kicker that takes things over the top. Whether it’s a fact, figure or client story, use it to close the deal.

Need advice on how to update your sales pitch presentations? Our friendly experts are at the ready. Simply provide your contact information and someone will get back to you right away to discuss your options.

Chris Finneral

Chris Finneral

Redefine what's possible with SketchDeck.

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