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Top 7 ways to open a presentation

August 29, 2012 by Ken Dooley
Posted in: communication, In this week's e-newsletter - Sales & Marketing, Industry Spotlight - Sales & Marketing, Latest News & Views - Sales & Marketing

The most effective presentations start and finish with the prospect’s needs and wants as the focus. Here are seven tips to help you prepare your openers.

  • Start with a preview of the benefits the prospect can achieve with your product/service. Promote confidence and justify the time you will need to conduct the presentation.
  • Make sure the right information about the problem-solving offer is ready for presentation. Include in your preparation appropriate information about your company, the competition, and the business environment.
  • Continuously seek out secondary sources of information. Make sure your information about the prospect is up-to-date and you’re aware of all issues the prospect may be facing.
  • Practice questioning and listening techniques to ensure you ask the right questions and that the information obtained in the answers to those questions is useful.
  • Offer a challenge. Ask the prospect to consider the cost of not using your product or service. Try to come up with a dollar figure.
  • Recognize that whatever openers are used, there will be follow-ups, and the prospect will want to make sure that everything promised in the presentation becomes reality.
  • Remind yourself of the lifetime value of the prospect. Think about how much repeat business the prospect will give you over the course of a long-term relationship.

Adapted from the book Selling ASAP by Eli Jones, dean of Louisiana State University’s College of Business.

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