What if you were told the most important part of your sales pitch presentation wasn’t actually making the sale? What if, in fact, it had nothing to do with the sale at all?
Before you prepare your rebuttal, hear me out.
Making the sale should not be the focus of your sales pitch presentation, but a by-product of a job well done. Whether you’re trying to land that new client, raise capital, or form a partnership, fixating on the end product of your presentation rather than the delivery can actually detract from your performance.
Ultimately, how well you are able to (1) quickly grab the prospect’s attention, (2) keep your audience engaged, and (3) concisely communicate your value should be the most important concerns when you deliver and prepare your sales pitch presentation.
And we’re here to help you do just that, using the 3D’s of an undeniable sales pitch presentation.
1. Design a Presentation Worth Listening To
In other words, don’t waste your audience’s time. Your prospective client, investor, or partner has gifted you their time, time they can’t get back. Nothing will deter your audience more than a presentation that wastes it. If you can’t keep them engaged, all they’ll be thinking about is how many other things they could be doing if they weren’t struggling to stay awake right in front of you.
In order to make sure you cover all the most important talking points and pique your audience’s interest right away, design your presentation in a Challenge, Solution, Call-to-Action format. It’s likely your prospect is coming to you for solutions to a problem. Now is the time to show them how you solve it. Here is an example:
Problem: The business owner’s client is overexposed to risk due to a concentration of appreciated company stock options in his portfolio.
Solution: Present a plan to diversify his holdings, exercise some of his options, and divert future compensation via stock to a Roth 401k through a conversion.
Call-to-Action: Engage in advisory services with your firm.
Validate that their problem is important and needs to be solved. Explain your solution clearly, and illustrate why your solution is better than other options.
2. Describe Your Content Concisely
There may be no situation where it is more important to be concise than in giving a presentation. Think about it: your audience is being presented with new information at a pace that is not their own (they will be following your lead) and often with concepts that are outside the limits of their day-to-day understanding. They aren’t holding a book they can re-read and take notes in to refer to later. All of their energy is being directed at digesting your information with their eyes and ears and processing it all at the same time.
In fact, in his book, The Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki makes the argument that the perfect pitch presentation should have no more than ten slides because a normal human being cannot comprehend more than ten concepts in a meeting. When you’re working with limited space and a limited attention span, you have no choice but to be as concise as possible.
At the most basic level, it is fundamentally easier to remember a simple message than a complicated one, so stick to a brief introduction, three to four main talking points, and a conclusion. The presentation should be easy for people to follow and highlight the most important points, not all the details.
3. Deliver with Confidence
There is much more to face-to-face communication than just the words coming out of your mouth. In fact, 93% of communication is non-verbal. In 1971, Albert Mehrabian published a book Silent Messages, in which he discussed his now-famous research on non-verbal communication. He concluded that the non-verbal component is made up of 55% body language and 38% tone of voice. Only 7% of your message is reliant upon what you’re actually saying!
You know what this means, right? You must be hyper-aware of so much more than just the speech you’ve prepared. Consider your positioning in the room, your gestures, and the way you intonate or stress certain words. If you are unsure how you are being perceived, record yourself or ask a trusted friend or colleague to watch your pitch and critique your delivery. You may even wish to use Microsoft’s Presenter Coach tool to give you some statistical feedback.
Adjusting Your Mindset
Think about presenting your pitch as shooting an arrow at a target. If you fixate only on the target and not on the proper form and technique of noosing the arrow and a smooth release, you’ll be more inclined to miss the mark. The wind up is just as important as the pitch, so practice, practice, practice! Adjusting your mindset to this mode of thinking could make all the difference in your ability to close the sale.