You should be selling if you’re going to be feeding your prospects. Seminars are a popular way to engage with your prospects. Just be sure you are doing everything you can to result in a sale.
Make sure the equipment works before the seminar.
Some venues provide audiovisual equipment. The last two presentations I saw had technical difficulties. Yes, you can learn the equipment that’s provided. It’s better to carry your own small projector. You have the correct cords and you know your devices work with it.
Start selling before the seminar
Walk around the room and introduce yourself to the participants instead of standing by your notes or off to the side. Start your sales process by learning what the participants hope to learn or why they chose to come. You have an opportunity to say, “Wonderful. We’ll be covering that” or “That’s a great question. Let me take your name and be sure you get the information.”
Get interaction during the seminar.
Make it easier to listen. Nothing is more boring than listening to a talking head. Instead, ask your audience questions that are nonthreatening and useful for your presentation. You can encourage participation by giving out gift cards to the people who answer questions.
Watch what you say. Avoid making jokes about coming for a free meal. I’ve heard presentations where the speaker took too much time joking about the free lunch. First, it insults the participants. Second, he wasted time.
Be strategic. Use the presentation to identify your best prospects.
Use the presentation to ask questions that uncover who could be your most profitable prospects. Identifying prospect’s potential is the way to do this. The question to ask if you have expense automation software to sell is “How many people process more than 25 expense reports a month? How about 100? How about 500? You will learn who are your best prospects from the hands raised.
Help the customer understand why he should buy.
The point of your presentation is to demonstrate why a prospect should buy your product. Often, prospects came because of curiosity. You must show them why your product is compelling. Your presentation should include the situations of why a customer would need your product or service.
Include what those situations cost a prospect and how much savings your product could deliver if the prospect bought. Also include the consequences of a prospect doing nothing. Employee turnover, productivity losses and lost sales are all possible consequences of a prospect doing nothing.
Start and end on time.
You can’t rush through the presentation when you want to finish. Spend the time planning your presentation before the meeting. Actually present it so you get an idea of timing. Include the most important points you want to make. Allow time for questions and always repeat the question since some people can’t hear the question from the audience.
Include a feedback form that asks just a few questions. You’ll get your forms returned to you if you have a drawing for a prize.
Lunch and dinner presentations are great opportunities to build rapport and create relationships with prospects and customers. Just remember, your prospects may be there to eat. You are there to sell.