One way sales presentations quickly go off track is the dreaded data dump.
In her book, author and upcoming London Sales 2.0 Conference speaker Terri Sjodin says many reps worry that they’ll never get to all the points they feel they need to make to be persuasive. This can be a particular problem for reps that sell complex products and worry that they can’t convey enough important information in three minutes or less.
Sjodin’s advice? Comprehensive isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. If you overdo it on information and talking points, you’re actually less persuasive than you otherwise might be. Try these tips to avoid data dumps, taken in part from her book, Small Message, Big Impact.
Tip One: Develop three persuasive points. (Caveat: points are not product features. Cultivate a message that conveys how your features will provide value and address the business challenge of your prospect.)
Tip Two: Divide your speech into parts. Try this template: introduction, three persuasive points, conclusion, close.
Tip Three: Consider how much time you have available. Three minutes? Thirty minutes? Thirty seconds? Tailor your presentation accordingly. If you have only a short time to speak, for example, just highlight one of your persuasive points.
Tip Four: Time yourself. Practice with a timer until you know exactly how long it takes to deliver each part of your presentation. (This will help you with tip three above.)
Tip Five: Bail. Sjodin says many presenters who view their own performance notice that they talked too long and were a little bit boring. If you feel you’re droning on or boring your audience, just stop talking. Ask a question instead. And take this as a sign that you need to work on finding ways to be persuasive and engaging instead of boring and informative.
Hear Sjodin discuss more elements of great sales presentations in this SPTV interview with Sales 2.0 Conference host and Selling Power founder Gerhard Gschwandtner. To hear Sjodin speak live, register now for the London Sales 2.0 Conference on June 3. Special early-registration discounts are in effect until May 22.