What’s your plan when you are part of a group making a sales presentation? You do have a plan, don’t you? Your first mistake is thinking that your presentation is just like any other individual presentation. It’s not. Here’s how you can make a successful group presentation the next time you’re selling with others.
Make a good start.
You must decide who starts the presentation. Often it’s the person who has created the strongest business relationship with the prospect. I’ve critiqued enough group presentations to know how decision makers think. One of their first thoughts at the beginning of a group presentation is, “Who are the presenters?” Your audience wants to know not only each presenter’s name, but what is his function in the presentation and what makes him qualified.
I’ve seen too many groups make the mistake of not introducing their team at the beginning or having people in the group who never present. You introduce your team because you want the full attention of the audience. Your audience will start to wonder, “Who are these other people?” when they see people standing behind the presenter and don’t know who they are.
You might wonder if each person should introduce himself. It is more effective when someone else talks about your credentials as opposed to your talking about yourself. Have one presenter make the introductions so that person is the only person talking about himself.
Showcase your expertise.
You introduced your team at the beginning. Now showcase their expertise and make it relevant to your prospect. You might have a presenter who was selected for your team because of a particular technical expertise. Note their technical expertise and why it is particularly relevant to your prospect. Your prospect might not make the connection of the expertise and why it’s needed at his company. You must help them draw conclusions about your qualifications so be direct and specific when you talk about your work.
Be sure to mention results you’ve produced for other customers. You can maintain confidentiality when you discuss the results you’ve produced. Instead of naming the company where you delivered results, you can characterize the company as an “international pump manufacturer with revenue of $100 million.” Your promises become more real and believable when you demonstrate that you’ve already delivered these results for other customers.
Use your time well.
Be sure you reconfirm before the presentation the amount of time you have for your presentation. Your group should have practiced the presentation enough times to know your timing and be able to accommodate anything unexpected and still finish on time. Sometimes prospects change the agenda and you have to adapt your presentation and make it shorter. I won’t fault you if you get the sale and don’t finish your presentation. I will fault you if you run out of time and don’t make the sale.
Be sure to allow for questions from your prospect. Questions can uncover any prospect misunderstandings so you can correct them during the presentation. It’s unfortunate and unnecessary when a prospect evaluates your presentation and you lose the sale because of his misunderstanding.
Allow time for your questions. You do have the right to ask about your performance relative to your competition. Of course, this might be hard for a prospect to answer if you’re the first company to present. Be sure to ask how you compare to other companies if you’re the last to present or if others have already presented. You might not get an answer. Then again, you certainly won’t get an answer if you don’t ask. You might learn some valuable information that you can use to strengthen your sales message when you learn how you compare. You can reinforce the prospect’s positive perception if he tells you something about your presentation that makes you stand out.
Group presentations have the advantage of presenting greater depth of talent to a prospect. You also give your prospect more people to dislike. Use your time wisely to present the best that your group has to offer so your prospect wants to do business with all of you.