Presentations Start With Preparation

Many salespeople take a cavalier approach to presentation planning, falsely assuming that their social gift of gab will naturally lead to outstanding business presentations. Yet a bad presentation can affect the future of you and your company, so make sure you take the time to refine your pitch.
Take quiet time to brainstorm and discover every possible benefit provided by your products, your company, and you. You should be able to list dozens of them. This exercise alone should illustrate how important it is to choose which benefit you should discuss during the limited time you have to make presentations. Make a list. This could be a great exercise for sales managers to conduct with their salespeople.

Determine which benefits are important to your customer or prospect and analyze your sales tools before you use them. Determine how each source can be used for various audiences at different stages of the purchasing process. For example, a car salesperson provides a glossy color brochure while the customer is taking test drives. The owner’s manual is provided only after a decision to buy has been made. Take time to know and understand the different uses of all your tools.
Don’t be in such a hurry to talk. First learn the real needs of your prospect and select the right sales tool. When you have the right tools for the right audience at the right time, then your presentations will generate high impact.


This week’s tip comes from Rick Davis, president of Building Leaders, Inc. and author of the book, Strategic Sales in the Building Industry. Based in Chicago since 1998, Building Leaders Inc. specializes in sales and sales management education in the building materials industry. For more information, visit or call 773-769-4409.