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How to Create and Deliver A Winning Group Sales Presentation
By Carol Burke, Regional VP, Communispond, Inc.

You have the perfect solution for your prospect. Only challenge now is to make them see and believe that what you're offering is significantly better than the other four organizations they are also speaking with.

You have the perfect solution for your prospect. Only challenge now is to make them see and believe that what you're offering is significantly better than the other four organizations they are also speaking with. You and your team now have to create and deliver a group presentation that outshines those of the other companies competing for the business. Here are some thoughts on how to do this.

Start by identifying your audience--who will be attending the presentation. Most likely, the customer has organized a cross-functional team to hear the presentations. Learn the titles and the roles of the people in this group. Who in the audience will actually be making the decision? Who will be responsible for the implementation? Who has the decision maker's ear and can influence the decision? Match the prospect titles with yours in rank, function and numbers. If their EVP is there, yours should be, too. If they have an IT person attending, put one on your team. Your presentation should be led and orchestrated by the team member who will be the customer's main contact so you can showcase that person's leadership.

The number of presenters is important: If you bring more presenters than there are customer attendees, your presentation might seem overbearing. With too few, the customer might think you're not serious about getting the business.

Organize the presentation so it begins by showing you understand the prospect's business situation. Segue on to the solution you're offering and how it will help the prospect meet their goals and objectives. Quantify whenever possible. Highlight the capabilities you have for providing the solution and how the solution will impact their business. End by expressing the strong commitment you have for helping their organization meet their goals.

Though your dog and pony show may be excellent for demonstrating your capabilities, they're only part of your message and they're not focused on the customer. A winning presentation makes the customer and the customer's business the star. Make sure you use the customer's graphics and language throughout the presentation.

One of the major mistakes presentation teams make is relying too much on visuals. It isn't the visuals that will distinguish you from your competition. It's how well you communicate on a human and business level with the group hearing your presentation.

Your presenters must convey strength and conviction. Encourage everyone on the team to turn on the full force of their enthusiasm for the solution you're offering. The ability to project passion is stressed at all of Communispond's presentation skills training programs.

If there are techies or product specialists on your team be sure they don't talk over the heads of the people listening. Make sure your team members don't use jargon or get into arcane details when answering a question. Their role is to support the sales process and to get the customer to see the value in your solution.

These team members also are the ones most likely to feel that "the facts speak for themselves" so you may have a particular need to develop their presentation skills - in order for them to understand that a presentation is a show, not a dry recitation of facts.

Anticipate questions that you're likely to be asked and prepare answers that are concise and persuasive. Plan in advance which of the team members will answer which kinds of questions. Then have the team members practice answering the questions out loud. The team leader should field the questions and direct them to the appropriate team member.

You may want to establish in advance that it's all right for an additional team member to chime in with an amplification of an answer if it's appropriate -- and doesn't take too much time. Keep an eye on the clock throughout the presentation. Get agreement on a signal that the team leader will give to alert a presenter that time is moving on.

Give the team enough time to rehearse before the presentation. Rehearse to the point where everyone is so confident about their roles and what they'll say that scripts can be left back in the office. Match the confidence you have in your solution with the confidence you have in the presentation and the customer will want you and your organization as their business partner



Carol Burke is Regional Vice President, Central Region, for Communispond, Inc. the communications skills training company. Communispond has trained over 500,000 managers at more than 300 of the Fortune 500 companies. Its sales training programs include Socratic Selling, Business Negotiating Skills, Sales Presentation Skills, Coaching for Improved Sales Performance, Hiring the Right Salesperson, and Selling on Paper. www.Communispond.com. 800-529-5925

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