All salespeople and all business owners will experience many appointments with clients, banks and others that can make a difference to their survival and growth. Most important situations still involve a person to person meeting, and that meeting must be orchestrated so that when the presentation is made, it has a good chance of obtaining the desired results.
If a presentation is critical to the business, should not enough time be allocated to the preparation process to give you the best chance for success? The following is a suggested preparation method for important presentations.
- Know the person: spend some time learning about the firm and the person to whom you are making a presentation. Know what benefits you bring but don’t try to sell them in the first few minutes of a meeting.
- The appointment process: a first meeting may be used as a gateway to a second meeting during which your product or service is bought. As the saying goes, you have two ears and one mouth, listen more than you speak.
- Preparation: perhaps the single most important thing to do is to prepare your presentation. I recommend using an outline and then presenting your presentation to your staff, support group, your family or, if necessary, to a recorder so you can listen and critique yourself.
- Agenda: not all of us can memorize and stick to a presentation plan. I recommend the use of a pre-planned agenda. This will make the presenter look more professional and it will help you pay attention to the purpose of the meeting.
- Notes: listen to what is said and take good notes; this is another sign of respect and of a desire to please. Yes, look into the eyes of the person you are speaking to, as much as you can, and if needed, stop the conversation and say,” I want to write that down because it is important”. If a second meeting is needed, these notes will help you form your next agenda and keep you on topic.
- Summarize: end the meeting with a summary of what you heard from the person to whom you are presenting; weave your points and benefits into that summary. The key at this point is to know whether to ask for the sale or to leave the door open and schedule a definite time for a second meeting.
- Be professional: if you have a choice, use your office for the meeting. Being professional includes everything from the way you dress to the tools you use during your presentation. When I don’t have the meeting in my office, I travel with a stand and flip chart (my personal power pointJ). Following my presentation agenda, I write down the points and thoughts that are shared and agreed to. This gives me a visual display to use in my closing presentation.
- What else: brochures on your company and yourself, your story, targeted benefits list, brochures, videos, etc. There are a multitude of “leave behind” items that will help reaffirm a decision that was made, or else support another meeting. Carry a briefcase and have a few of these items with you so that you can select the right one to leave behind.
- Slow down, be patient and believe in yourself.
Wisdom is knowing what to do; Skill is knowing how to do it; Virtue is doing it.
Nick J. Petra CFP www.strategicduck.com It’s coming in April and small business will change forever!
Yes, I can help get your business to the next level, let’s visit. email@example.com