Here’s How To Give More Effective Sales Presentations

In this article, we’re going arm you with a simple yet effective technique to give more effective sales presentations.

For those of your whom have read ‘The Challenger Sale by Matthew Dixon & Brent Adamson, this article stems from the tailor concept in their book. If you haven’t read this book then it is a must, it’ll change your sales prowess and approach completely.

The question we are often ask and will give an answer to today is:

  • How do I give more effective sales presentations?

The Scenario

Have you ever presented to either a person or a group and you’ve recognised that you’ve failed to entice them?

We definitely have until we started using this simple technique..

You’ll know you’ve failed to entice people when:

  • You lose many sales opportunities at the presentation/proposal stage.
  • You get minimal feedback when presenting, often people just nod.
  • People lack interaction and appear to be bored.

They’re just a few of the common scenarios that should give you a indication that you’re failing to entice those whom you are presenting to.

So to prevent this scenario, what’s integral is that we

  • Tailor our approach to the individuals in the room

Common Mistakes

The two mistakes that most sales people make when presenting are:

  1. They don’t ask the question of importance
  2. They Focus on seniority

If either of these mistakes are made then we’ll either lose part or all of the room that we’re presenting too. To clearly demonstrate these two pitfalls, let us have a deeper dive into them both.

Question of Importance

Here’s that money maker for a sales person. The top sales people ask this question or a variation of this at the start of a meeting:

  • What’s important to you or what do you want to get out of our presentation or relationship with us moving forward

This question alone gives you all of the ammunition that you need in order to give the most effective presentation which is entirely tailored to the buyer whom you sit in front of.

So use this question, play around with it to make it work with your conversational style so that it doesn’t sound scripted.

Be mindful not to fall into the second pitfall though which is:

Focus on Seniority

We collectively made this mistake for years. We see seasoned veterans of sales making this mistake every single day. That mistake is that they ask the question of importance yes, but they ask this collectively of a group whom they are presenting to. Then often they will focus on that which is important for the most senior person in that business.

Remember, what we are trying to do is give effective presentations. We do that by tailoring our approach to the individuals in the room, note the emphasis is to tailor our approach to the individuals in the room.

Mixture of Stakeholders

Often, we’ll have a mixture of stakeholders involved in a presentation. Depending on what you’re selling, the prospects stakeholders could consist of the CEO, Marketing Manager, Operations Director, IT Manager etc.

This adds a level of complexity to the presentation process, as the items that the CEO considers important maybe very different than that of the Marketing or IT Manager.

Hence why we need to tailor our presentations to the individuals in the room.

How Do We Do That?

Simple, there’s no rocket science involved. We ask the question of importance, but on an individual by individual basis. You could even open with a statement of something like:

“We want to tailor our presentation to each of you in the room, we’re conscious that each of you will have a different outlook and view of what you think is important. So to start our presentation I’d just like to hone in one by one of what each of you feel is important to you…Janet can we start with you…”


Once you’ve done this, tailor your approach to that which you’ve been told. So if the CEO says I want to see a return on investment then spend some time talking through this. If the IT manager wants to know how this will save him team time then demonstrate this too.

Key Take Away

Alter your approach just to include two things

  1. Tailor presentations by asking the question of importance.
  2. Ask this of each person you’re presenting to and then tailor away.

We’d love to hear your stories on how this works for you or your approach on this topic.

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