Tips to Prepare for Your Next Sales Presentation

By Renee Houston Zemanski

You’ve had your information-gathering presentation and established rapport and credibility, so now what? What are some things you can do to prepare for your next presentation (the one where you close the sale)? It all has to do with the qualification elements you choose, says Michael Goodman, president of USSalesForce Corporation and executive director of International Sales Pros Association LLC.

“Qualification happens throughout the whole sales process,” says Goodman. “If I’m giving a presentation, I need to know what elements I’m presenting to, and because there are multiple elements, I need to know what I have and what I am missing. I don’t want to present something that the buyer doesn’t care about.”

Goodman says that prior to any presentation, it is critical to understand the Pain, Power, Fit qualification elements (developed by John Bowie, Sales Traction Inc.):

PAIN: What is the prospect’s motivation to buy? Make sure prospects recognize their need to buy. The buyer must have a specific return on investment.

POWER: Does the prospect have the resources necessary to make the deal come together? Are you speaking to the highest stakeholder? (Note: This is not necessarily the person who holds the highest title.) That person must have the intention to act. Does the prospect believe that you can deliver the solution? Goodman suggests two ways to establish credibility during a presentation. The most important is having a library of your past success stories. “These stories should be of similar situations where your solutions have helped people and companies,” he says. “Sprinkle those stories liberally throughout your presentation. Second, make sure that the people you have success stories for are highly recognizable.”

FIT: Does the solution that I bring to the table fit with what the prospect needs to accomplish? Is my solution better than other solutions available to him or her? Does it even make sense to continue?

After evaluating these elements, decide if what you’ve got is critical to making this sale work. You need to address these elements, if you haven’t already, in your next presentation.