The sponsor – an experienced sales person – had 15 minutes to make her pitch to 25 customers. Each person in the audience could recommend her services to others. It was an important 15 minutes.
But she blew it.
Instead of pitching a fun, cool product (which is what she represents), she presented a boring slide deck with too many bullet points and collages of meaningless (to her listeners) photos. Oh, and she took 25 minutes.
What a shame.
Instead of stepping out of “presentation mode” and having a conversation with the buyers, she talked and talked and talked. She told us about features no one cared about and no one remembered. Instead of presenting to pique our interest, she stifled any.
9 Important Tips
Do not begin with the name and introduction of everyone on your team – even if your entire team is present. Instead, add their photos, names and an interesting statement to your collateral. So when listeners are interested in learning who is who, they can at their own pace.
Do not begin with background of who you are and why you’re there. If your prospect has invited you to pitch, they know.
Start strong. There are many powerful ways to begin a presentation. You can startle them or delight them. You can start with a point they’ll easily agree with or one that will make their blood boil. You can help them envision their success or their demise. Craft an opening that will matter to them
Stay future focused.
Don’t apologize for not having something with you. If you don’t have it, don’t mention it. Or, just tell them you’ll email/mail it after the presentation.
Leave out the parts they don’t care about. No matter how wonderful your hotel spa might be, if the meeting planner is interested only in a one day seminar, your spa doesn’t come into play. Respect them enough to not talk about it!
Eliminate self-centered behaviors. No one needs to know that you aren’t feeling well, got in late, couldn’t sleep or any other ailment that might be ailing you. Deal with it in silence.
Stay through the end. Even if you have to leave the room because the rest of the meeting is closed to outsiders, stick around outside the room so you can mingle during their break. Make yourself available after your pitch. That’s where the magic happens.
Create extraordinary opportunities from routine selling situations. It’s up to you to ensure you aren’t presenting in a routine way. Make it mean something to them and make it memorable (in a good way) and they’ll want to listen – and engage.
About the Author:
Sue Hershowitz -Coore is a corporate consultant, communication specialist and internationally-recognized professional speaker. For more information about her company, visit www.speakersue.com