Nine-Tips-for-Crafting-Better-Sales-PresentationsA great sales presentation moves a buyer from interest to action. A mediocre one does little or nothing. And a bad one causes prospects to run in the other direction. How can you create presentations that result in closed deals? Here are nine tips.

1. Focus on benefits rather than features
Too many salespeople stuff their presentations full of features. The problem is buyers don’t actually care about features, they care about benefits. A feature is a characteristic of a product or service. A benefit is what it means to the buyer. So translate features into benefits and focus on those.

2. Use the words “you” and “your” frequently
Everyone’s favorite subject is themselves. Instead of droning on and on about your company’s history, awards and “commitment to excellence,” spend more time talking about your prospect’s needs, desires, concerns, goals, outcomes, etc. Frame everything in relation to your prospect using “you” and “your”—the two most powerful words in sales.

3. Tell stories
Facts are boring. Stories are entertaining. Data is dull. Stories are compelling. Numbers are meaningless without context. Stories provide context and meaning. Tell stories to illustrate the points you want to get across.

4. Use testimonials
Anything and everything you say is suspect in a buyer’s eyes. What your customers say has a lot more credibility. Use testimonials liberally.

5. Incorporate photos and video
Due to inflation, a picture is now only worth 762 words, but that’s still a lot. Photos and video can communicate in ways mere words can’t. How could you use photos and videos to enhance your message?

6. Stick to the issues that are important to your buyer
Whenever you discuss a subject that’s not of interest to your prospect, you lose their attention. And once you’ve lost it, you may never regain it. Based on your needs analysis, you should know precisely what your prospect cares about. Focus on those items and ignore everything else.

7. Mention one drawback of your product or service
Your buyer expects you to talk about your product or service like it’s the best thing since sliced bread. Your buyer doesn’t expect you to disclose any flaws or downsides to it. Which is what makes this tactic so powerful. When you admit one aspect of your company, product, or service that isn’t as good as a competitor’s, your credibility goes through the roof.

8. Engage as many senses as possible
If all you’re doing is talking, you’re only engaging a single sense, which isn’t very effective for communicating. Adding PowerPoint, photos, or video engages a second sense, which is better. But how could get more senses involved? Could your prospect hold your product? Could you light a candle or use an air freshener in the room? Could you serve them a beverage or a snack?

9. Ask for the sale
The purpose of your presentation is to make a sale. Therefore, it must close with a call to action. If you don’t ask for the sale, there’s no point presenting in the first place. Incorporate one or more closing techniques into the end of your presentation.

An awful lot of salespeople waste their prospect’s—and their own—time with a poorly crafted presentation. Which is great for you! Because when you utilize these nine tactics, your presentations will set you apart from them, give you a huge edge, and enable you to make the sale.