Attract more business with strategic presentations
Firstly, what is Strategic Presenting?
It is a thoroughly thought-out pathway of steps around your client engagement, to ensure a successful outcome.
Why is it important?
When you have a plan, and you’re clear about the journey, a few things take place:
- You can be better prepared, you know what’s going to happen, you know what you need with each step and you know how to move the conversation through to a sale.
- You control and lead the conversation – this helps with pace and authority.
- Your demeanour is now one of confidence, you have certainty in your solution and clients pick up if you believe in your solution.
- Your presentation has a natural flow, you are calm, clear and able to be agile and flexible, you are able to land a compelling message with clarity.
- You engage better and can enjoy being ’present’. Your intent is to help the client and your clear interest in them will show through.
Our 10 insights will set you up to be more strategic in your presentations
- Sales is a process
Understand sales is a process, it’s a system and within that system there are clear steps which move the rep and client to the desired outcome. Buy into this. Embrace it. Yes, I know you want to jump straight into the meeting, I know you are known for being a ‘doer’ but are you prepared? Do you know the 8 key questions to ask before you even have that meeting? Are you maximising your time in their company?
- Fall in love with organisation
Learn to love prioritisation and putting time into focusing on the right jobs. Exercise that discipline muscle. Carve off time to focus on a task, turn off all notifications and dive in.
- Why would this company need what you have?
Do some due diligence on that company. Ideally have a clear BD plan starting 12 weeks before your intended reach out, where you are learning about their business. Visit their website, LinkedIn business profile and key people’s personal profile and then the company and personal posts. You are working out if you can assist them. You are gathering a picture. You are gaining intel. Is this company needing what you have? Why? Who is a key influencer? Do you know anyone who works there? (Or know someone who knows someone that works there) (still with me)?
During this engagement you want to think, is there anyone in that company you know (or do you have a contact who knows them) so you can find out more and indeed see if what you have will be of value, and if so why and how?
- Who should be at the meeting?
Who should be there, why, really – why? What are you going to add to their life that will motivate them to spend time with you? Don’t assume the final decision maker has to be there. Depending on the size of the business, it can be fruitful to find those ‘end users’ or other interested parties who are part of the process. They can provide valuable insight into solutions they are using and why, filling in much needed pieces of the intel jigsaw.
Reach out with a short LinkedIn request, shorter the better. Hi xxx, I see we are both in xx industry. I would like to connect’. I’m giving you a blanket approach; a more tailored connection request might improve your % acceptance – this blog isn’t focusing on that. Connect with all decision makers plus key people of influence.
Read their posts and learn about them. If you have something interested to add – comment. When I say interesting – I mean intelligent and useful.
- Provide value
Once you get traction above you now move onto a 10:1 ratio
Meaning 10 +comments over a month = earning the right to pop in a personal message directly.
If you have something of value to give, then GIVE. Show upfront you are a giver of value and that engaging with you will be worth their time. Ask for nothing, expect nothing. Be the authority, be the trusted advisor. ‘Sarah I note today you were recruiting for someone. I had this great recruitment doc I found helpful. I’ve attached it in case it brings you some value’ (i.e. this may be nothing to do with your business, if it’s connected in some way that’s a bonus). At this stage you are transitioning the relationship from ‘social herd connection’ (a name that pops up) to ‘personal connection’ (a real person who cares about them).
Give give give, then ask. That’s the minimum ratio. Once a conversation gets going you can share how you might be of service to them, how you might be able to help. Timing is key. Ideally reach outs are when they need you (duh). So should you be all over your potential client and see a fire needs putting out, then move on in– the timing is perfect.
Think about your message. If your purpose is to gain a meeting, don’t give them everything in the message. It will be a ‘spray and pray’ tone.
- Asking for the meeting
If you have had many two-way engagements and you have momentum, you might call up – pull in a common connection if you have found one (ideal).
‘ Hi Petunia, I’m xxx. We have been engaging through LinkedIn this week in regard to xyz. John Smith at Bottles for Rent mentioned you today – we helped them save money with their blah de blah issue – anyway, he suggested I reach out as our solution may also be a good fit for you because it does xxx and he said you had been chatting about that’. Double good whammy here as the other person is ticking the ‘trust’ box.
Or ‘Ah Stephen, we were engaging today about the wastage factor of xyz and I thought I might just pick up the phone and share that we happen to have xyzA product that solves that issue, so if you wanted to investigate this further I’d be happy to help’.
Read the situation as you might amend the ending to ‘fit for you now or in the future’ meaning ‘pressures off’.
If the timing is right and you have approached it as a trusted advisor with professionalism and grace (not pushy or needy) then it should naturally go to an appointment.
And you can then add what you know. ‘Let’s have a chat about what your situation is. I’ve gathered this intel xxx and would like to expand on some of that so that we may suggest some suitable solutions. I am good to do that on Monday around 4 and Tues between 10 – 2pm. I’m not a fan of assumptive closes, so I would say at all times be at the same pace as the client, slow down, be on the same side as them, in it for them.
- Meeting prep
Work out clearly what you need to know, what you need to learn, where the gaps are in your knowledge of their business. What can you find out through their website, other people who work there and LinkedIn? You want to be prepared and armed. It’s better to be prepared and have an opportunity than to have an opportunity and not be prepared. Email a decent outline of what you will cover, make it short, to the point. You might add a link to something easy to watch or read or some other value.
Amend your signature so it speaks to that client, maybe a review from a similar client with a similar issue. Although this needs to be subtle. Your calendar invite has the short, punchy top line (or 3 bullet point agenda) you want them to look at all this and say ‘this person is in charge here, they know what they are doing, I’m in safe hands’. Have all the questions you need answering ready. Have what you might show planned. Think through all the scenarios of what may happen, what will they ask me, what if they need to see evidence or a review of a similar situation. What are the most common questions that come up? Look at your engagement with them, what did they care about –and what did they value, i.e. quality, timeliness, professionalism.
Practice what is going to happen. Talk it through as you walk (put on earphones, people think you are talking to someone else), talk it through in the car, in the shower. You want to be so well rehearsed that you can drop in and out of any section of what you want to show, and you are able to land a compelling message with clarity that aligns to their needs. There is a simple equation between practice and winning the business. The more you are prepared, the more you are present. You are calm, in control and confident. The client will be able to tell if you are present or not. They are buying into someone who is confident. (Conversely those who are not prepared are taking up valuable headspace thinking about what they can show).
- Getting your client invested before the meeting
When the client sees the value, they may loop in someone else to be in the meeting. Remember your relationship with Sam has built over a few months, with multiple engagements and opportunities for you to demonstrate you are the authority in your field. This other chappy from Logistics doesn’t know you from a bar of soap. Build a relationship, connect on LinkedIn and then reach out to see how you may bring them value. I.e., email or better still, call up ‘Hi Stephen, xxx here -we are meeting next Thursday to discuss how we may assist your team on their envelope licking business. I would love to know top line about your department so I can ensure we make the most of our time together and our time together brings you value. What is happening here is a) you are building a relationship, b) you are taking control and showing your care factor and c) this interaction means he is now engaged and a moving part in the meeting – not an observer. I call this moving a ring in from the observer position to participator position.
- The meeting
I’ll assume this is happening virtually. And if you are turning up, then make sure your car is clean and your pants pressed. You know what I mean. Look the part.
When using video conferencing go through a check list
- All material you want to show /or might need to show all minimised
- Phone off
- On the call 10 minutes before them
- Mouse and keypad fully charged
- Distractions minimised (i.e., notifications off)
- Clear the desktop
- Room looking professional, (good lighting and clear clutter)
- Now, have their LinkedIn profiles up so you know the difference between Stephen and Sam.
When someone arrives, ask them a simple question that will only take a moment to answer – you are buying time for the other person to join the call.
Open the call with a warm smile and eye contact. Better they see you and your open calm body language when you are looking at them.
Go over the agenda and ask if they want to add anything.
The agenda should be based around you understanding them better.
Be positive; ‘I’m looking forward to understanding more about xxx and then sharing how we may assist you’.
Now, depending on which meeting this is, the first or fourth it will run differently. The first is you finding out about them, so your questioning is key.
You need to be a master at asking questions, being present and being considered with your response. You are seeking to understand. Be curious.
Keep at the same pace as them. What I mean by that is ensure you have buy-in all the way along.
I would be in ‘collaboration’ mode – meaning you are jointly working on this together, as partners.
Make notes (I do a summary of notes on my screen for the client to see) and then work out who does what for an action plan.
Key aspects to a successful presenting
- Read the signs, are they with you
- Make it easy for them to buy, do the heavy lifting for them
What to do
Help your team by coaching them on all the objections that come up, start a easily accessible document so that the team can be armed and confident
Contact us to understand this and other programs (coaching currently conducted virtually), this programs include how to handle objections. >>>
Piece written by Charmaine Keegan, author of over 20 eBooks, is a sought-after guest speaker, panellist, and keynote. She is a Certified Trainer Extended Disc System, of Situational Leadership, of NLP (how we operate), Hypnotherapy (unconscious communication) and Timeline Therapy (recognising your beliefs about sales and money – and recognising that of your customer). She has studied the psychology of human behaviour and is considered an absolute authority and true expert on sales techniques. She has ‘walked the walk‘ so her content, programs and key notes are highly practical and focused on results.
Smarter Selling is sales and mindset coaching for high performing leaders and teams