It's not what you say, it's how you say it. Intuitively we know this to be true and research backs this up.The sales presentation is your time to shine and close more business!

Forbes reported that academic research conducted by UCLA has shown the significance of non-verbal communication in presentations. The study captured where respondents attributed value and it showed that 38% tone of voice was attributed 38% of value while facial expressions accounted for 55% of value. The research highlights the importance of the non-verbal elements of the sales presentation. This is because as buyers and sellers we are humans first and foremost who instinctively look for the emotional connections regardless of the procurement process - intuitively we are all looking for these connections when we are presenting to sell.

Creating a presentation that can hold the attention of a room can be tricky, especially when people are in and out of dozens of meetings every day and have seen it all before. So, when you are crafting your next sales presentation for an deal, here are a few tips help you close:

5 Sales Presentation tips to improve close rates

  1. Be conversationally minded not presentation focused

    Have you ever experienced a buyer who has their arms folded and loves one worded answers? The temptation with these types of prospective customers is to launch into your sales presentation which would be a big mistake. And conversely, there are those prospects who have a thousand questions and love to interrupt the flow.

    The temptation here is to shut them down so you can complete your presentation. Again this would be a big mistake. The key is to aim for a human dialogue and it's your job to ensure it's guided around the conversational story you want to create with your customer. This means listening when the customer provides feedback and asking open ended questions to connect and engage the prospective customer.

  2. Lead with insights that demonstrate empathy and understanding 

    The best way to a customer's heart is to demonstrate that you have researched and immersed yourself into their problems and challenges. And you can demonstrate empathy via this effort in producing compelling insights that make them think in a new way about their problems and challenges.This opportunity to educate your prospect will build trust and respect.

    It's natural to think that the differentiating features and benefits are the most compelling to the customer. However, in fact they may not be - it's usually subjective. By leading with 2-3 key insights you can emotionally connect and build authority with what's important to the customer and you will be able to tie these insights to your differentiators in a more impactful manner.

  3. Utilise case studies, not ROI projections

    can be a killer of the emotional story you are trying to create. It can open debate about your assumptions and the risk associated with the decision to purchase your product or service.The objective of the sales presentation is to build and hold the emotional connection and engagement for as long a time as is possible.

    One of the best ways to do this is to tell a compelling customer story that they can relate to - complete with before and after scenarios. The key to success is to get your prospect to see themselves in the case study and self-discover via the story that you've composed.

  4. Inspire with design, video & photography

    As the saying goes, a picture is worth 1000 words, which means it can help you communicate your message clearer and faster than a wall of text. We live in an experience based age, so whether you are using Powerpoint or Key note for your presentation it’s always a good idea to use a well-designed theme for your presentation. A theme will help give your presentation structure, uniformity and make it look more professional and a well-designed template will inspire your presentation message and engage the emotions.

    Consider using information graphics to help your prospect easily digest complicated information through the use of visual data, charts, and statistics. With proper use of design principles such as colour, proportions, placement and white space, information graphics can make complicated information easy and clear for your audience to understand.You should also use your own photographs to personalise your presentation. Just be sure that the imagery is relevant and accentuates the story of your sales presentation. Lastly, if you have the opportunity shoot a video for your presentation, this can really up the ante. These days, you can easily film and edit yourself and or team to really wow your audience.

  5. Keep it short and simple

    As we all know, less is more and this is particularly true when you are giving a presentation. You want the main focus to be on your prospective customer, with your presentation slides playing a supporting role that enhances your effectiveness and delivery. Keeping the presentation to 9 minutes is suggested by HubSpot. No one wants to be overwhelmed with a wall of text and long winded explanations! 

    If you need to go over the 9 minute mark, then you should reset your prospect's focus via a new presenter or the introduction of a video case study for example. As humans, we are simply not programmed to take onboard what you and your copy are trying to communicate for much long than this. Keeping things short and simple has implications for your ability to distill your story which is the true talent of the successful sales presenter. And this can only be achieved by through the upfront work you do to understand their problems and challenges - remember there's always the leave behind document that contains the detail. The sales presentation goal is not death by PowerPoint, but rather education and inspiration.

Sales presentations for new ideas and solutions to customer problems is where the rubber meets the road for your business growth ambitions. Making them more effective can change your life and that of your business. So next time you’re preparing for a sales presentation try to keep these 5 tips in mind in order connect emotionally with your prospective customer.

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