Rehearsing your sales presentation prepares you for the actual delivery, but it’s only the first half of the process.
Be prepared for whatever questions your audience can ask you.
According to Michael and George Belch, the advertising industry has its own way of evaluating pitches before suggesting it to clients. Play your own devil’s advocate to find out if your proposal will work by asking yourself three questions:
1. Is Your Solution Consistent with Your Client’s Marketing or Business Strategies?
Each company has their own way of doing business.
Some gadget distributors buy their products from reputable manufacturers. Some grocery stores give shelf space only to common goods.
See if your proposed solution is consistent with how your client sells themselves in their market and how they operate their company.
2. Is Your Sales Pitch Consistent with Your Strategy and Objectives?
Is your business presentation simple enough to show exactly what it’s supposed to?
Visuals are great selling tools, but excessively using them drowns out your message.
Using images effectively with the right words presents your message in a straightforward manner, as with the Crisis Relief’s “Liking Isn’t Helping” campaign.
In his book, Hey Whipple, ad veteran Luke Sullivan presents the following questions for presenters to think about:
Do you want to highlight the features and benefits of your product?
Do you want to pitch your product or services to solve your client’s specific problems?
Do you want to highlight your advantages over the competition?
Whatever tactic you use must be consistent with these strategies, and your slide content mustn’t overwhelm your message.
3. Is Your Sales Pitch Appropriate for the Client and Their Customers?
Whatever proposal you present will always affect your client and their customers, if they have any.
More than the products or services you present, the PowerPoint deck you use and your manner of speaking should be relevant enough for the client to relate to and not be offended.
Dated pop culture references may work, but they lose their relevance when faced with the wrong demographics.
Stay truthful, tasteful and straightforward when delivering business presentations. Give your clients a good reason to invest in you.
Anticipating your client’s questions and your audiences’ reactions gives you enough room to stay calm and composed when you deliver the actual presentation.
Being critical of your own work lets you spot possible errors before entering the conference room.
Lastly, having an extra pair of eyes to improve your work makes your business presentation the best it can be.
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Belch, George E., and Michael A. Belch. “Creative Strategy: Implementation and Evaluation.” In Advertising and Promotion: An Integrated Marketing Communications Perspective. 6th ed. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2003.
“Sales Presentation Skills: Stay Relevant to Pitch Ideas.” pitchdeck.com, May 11, 2015. Accessed June 22, 2015.
Sullivan, L. Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: A Guide to Creating Great Ads (3rd Ed.). Hoboken, N.J.: John Wiley & Sons, 2008.
Nudd, Tim. “The World’s Best Print Ads, 2012-13.” AdWeek. Accessed June 22, 2015.