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Presentation Skills
Making Sales Presentations That Count!
By Jim Kasper, President & CEO, Interactive Resource Group

Most of what we do in the practice of sales involves a presentation at some point in our sales activities.

Most of what we do in the practice of sales involves a presentation at some point in our sales activities. It then stands to reason that as professional salespeople, we must be prepared at all times to produce and deliver a presentation which favorably impacts our customers' perceptions of us.

The 5 "I"s of presentations will help you do that:
Introduce: Your introduction should be brief; a description of "how you got there" as well as a summary of your previous interviews, highlighting competencies impacting the customer to whom you are presenting. This is a great point to use your Unique Selling Propositions (USP).

Identify: Outline your objectives. If it's a problem, describe the problem and how you propose to resolve it. If it's an enhancement, be clear on how you will increase revenue, save time or reduce operating expense. This is a good time to cite a case study of another customer who had a similar problem that you've successfully addressed.

Impact: Bring out your solution [your "magic box"], describing what steps you'll take and what tools, time and technology will be required. A word of caution: Don't give away the store by specifically detailing all points because your ideas and approaches can be easily "lifted" for use by a less than ethical in-house guy or your competitor who beats you on price but is less than original when it comes to proposing solutions. Be careful. This is also a good time to get your customer to visualize the impact of enacting your proposal by utilizing strong statements like, "When the project's complete, you'll no longer have to contend with the backlog of orders, etc."

Intent: At this point, reinforce what you've proposed by conveying to the customer that once their project is underway, you and your company are stakeholders in its success. Explain there will always be a contact person who'll provide status information and address questions. That person may be you; if not, be certain to personally introduce that person to your customer. The higher up the person is in your organization chart, the better. This provides a "comfort zone" to the customer and assures, once the purchase or project is approved, that he or she is not left with just an invoice.

Inquire: By this time, you've covered a lot of territory. Pause and ask your customer, "What questions do you have?" or, "Tell me what portion of my presentation you would like me to review?" Once you've addressed their questions, your next question should be "When can we proceed?"
By using the 5 "I"s you'll find that your presentations will go smoother and you'll get through your sales cycle quicker. Isn't that what it's all about?

Jim Kasper is the Founder and President of Interactive Resource Group. Mr. Kasper has over 26 years of practical experience in direct sales, sales management, sales training, and marketing. Contact him at or call 800-891-7355

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