There are many good communication techniques available in business today. But the one that works the best for me dates back to over a decade.
What is it? The answer may surprise you. It’s our corporate sales presentation. I remember the first time I gave it. We had been selected as a finalist to provide print and copier services to a large organization and I was asked to deliver an hour presentation about our company. I recall thinking, what am I going to talk about for an hour (and I like to talk).
So we built a presentation to tell our story. This was meant to be about our company and culture, not the products we sell. The good news is we won the business and they are still one of our top clients today. The other good news is our corporate presentation has maintained its relevance and is one of the most used sales tools we have.
The content we developed differentiates us from our competitors and allows us to earn the respect of prospects and clients, new hires and the companies we acquire.
Here’s what I think makes a good corporate presentation:
- Know your audience.
When I am asked by one of our sales representatives to present our corporate presentation to a client, one of the first things I ask them is who will I be presenting to? I want to know who the players in the room are and what roles they play in their organization and in the meeting. It’s important to know who the key decision maker is, who our coach is and who we still need to convince that we are the best choice.
- Start with your objective.
Begin with what you’re hoping to accomplish with your presentation. I recommend being really transparent about your intention. We outline our objective in every presentation. If we want to earn a client’s business, we state that. If we want to expand their business, we let them know. If they’re willing to listen to us present for an hour, it’s usually a pretty good sign that they are interested.
- Add an element of entertainment.
This is important and so often overlooked. If you can’t capture and keep your audience’s attention, they’ll never hear your story and the value you bring. Being personable, sharing stories and making the conversation interactive helps you connect with your audience and keeps their attention. I want to make sure I don’t get bored at my own presentation.
- Share your philosophies.
Instead of just talking about what you do, share why you do it. Your why is often what separates you from the competition. We sell technology. But we’re in business to contribute to the success of our customers, employees and communities. We believe it is important to share our culture and philosophies because people want to work with and for high-performing organizations.
- Validate your claims.
Everyone claims they have the best product, best service and best price. In our industry, products are all good and pricing is market-based. So how do you prove you have the best service? We start inside the company with our annual employee satisfaction survey results, proving the theory that satisfied employees equate to satisfied customers. We also share our monthly customer satisfaction results. In other words, we use real-time data to support our claims. I’ll put our proof system up against any of our competitors.
Our corporate presentation provides us with a consistent corporate message and has become one of the most valuable tools in our organization. If you haven’t taken the time to create and share your story, I think you’re missing an opportunity. One of the most important components of an effective presentation is the delivery. Watch for a future blog on how to effectively deliver a corporate presentation.