Had a couple of b2b sales people ask me last week about what they needed to be watching for when they practice or rehearse their upcoming sales presentation.
What a proactive questions from a combination of experienced b2b sales people?
After discussing the finer points of guidelines for practicing their important sales presentation, I realized this is something to share with you.
So, here are the Seven Guidelines for Practicing a Critical Sales Presentation…
- Focus on Your Content
Start with the content – the information you have learned and prepared. Get this part down cold so later you can add your style or emphasis points using vocal changes or the famous “pause.”
- Use an Outline or Notes
Get out of the habit of reading the slides to others. You job is to be authentic and real during your presentation. Therefore, you can glance at an outline if needed, yet, one of the purposes of doing a rehearsal is to learn the material so you can present while looking the customers in the eyes.
- Be Strong at the Opening
One of the most important parts of any presentation is the opening. Here the job is to have a strong opening to gain the attention of the audience and engage their minds from the beginning. If your beginning lacks engagement or dynamic attention grabbing stories, then do it again.
- Emphasize Smooth Transitions
Every time you move from one major point to another – you are transitioning. These need to be smooth and seamless – again driving credibility and authenticity with the customer. Always get these perfect before moving on.
- Do It Over
This is more of a presentation tip than a critical point to watch during the practice session. The issue is – the first time you do something it will usually have imperfections in it. Therefore, do not hesitate to do things over and over until you have it right. Warning, ego is the number one problem at this level. So lose the ego and do the presentation as many times as needed to get really good at the presentation.
- Use Peers to Critique
Ouch! Peers will know what is missing or what is incorrect. Have top performers give you both criticism and creative ideas. These people can provide you some extra insight leading to better outcomes. This is particularly true when you practicing in front of the top performers on the sales team.
- Video the Rehearsal
Okay, now for the fastest method for improving your overall performance for your upcoming sales presentation. Video your sales presentation rehearsal so you can see exactly what needs to be corrected as well as what you have done well. I learned this from athletic teams who video every practice session, then show the videos to the athletes. Since they see exactly what you see, they can now understand what needs to be improved. Use videoed practice sessions to improve sales presentations or sales interviews – it is the fastest method for immediate improvement available today.
Okay, even though I’m not a huge fan of the basic sales presentation, I do realize many of us will be making sales presentations either to introduce an idea to a customer or to close the sales based upon a specific solution. So, you should not it as well as you can.
Being the best improves your probability of successful outcomes. Practice and rehearse to improve all the details needed for successful b2b sales presentations.