Effective Sales Presentation Skills

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A poor sales presentations is a lot like being served potatoes without ever being offered the meat. If you can’t present professionally, clearly, and concisely while using visual aids, you will probably starve.

Imagine this unlikely scenario for a moment: You decide you want to take a trip to a beautiful island anywhere in the world. You don’t care…”just get me out of here,” you say to yourself. So you visit a travel agent who begins to tell you about three places with very beautiful beaches. She describes each in detail but by the time she has gotten to the third beach, all you can hear is blah, blah blah. Not once does she show you a picture or take out a brochure. You decide on none of them and instead, go to Disneyland. Hey, at least you know what THAT looks like. You’ve seen the pictures on television.

It’s exactly the same thing when you sell a product or service. If your potential buyer cannot “see” with their eyes exactly what you are talking about, they will likely NEVER buy from you. Besides, people remember little of what you say (I know, shocking!) but they do remember what they see.

To present clearly, you must understand exactly who your audience is and not waste their time. Let’s say that you sell swimming pools for a living and you take your computer to show your prospects what kind of pools your company has to offer. If you visit home A and it’s a mansion, having a bunch of low end pools mixed into higher end products during your presentation is a huge mistake. It’s likely a complete waste of time as you flip past products you know they will have zero interest in purchasing.

By the same token, showing higher end pools to a client that has already told you what their thier budget is will also be an absolute waste of time; especially in this economy. Plus, it will likely make them feel bad as just a few years ago they probably felt as if they could afford the higher priced pool. There will always be other things to up-sell them. Be prepared. Understand your audience.


Depending on what you sell, using PowerPoint presentations will likely be an integral component to your presentation. Have you ever given a presentation where you had 40 slides and 35 of those caused your audience to drift into a daydream? Your PowerPoint must be short, relevant and inspire the message that you intend to deliver. Too few slides can also hurt unless you are showing them key points that you want them to remember.

Today adding video links into your presentation adds a great level of sophistication. Video tape 5 customers that you have sold to, describing their happy customer experience and watch how intently your potential buyer sits forward hanging on every detail.

Product Demonstrations

The most fun you will ever have selling is when you have an actual product to demonstrate. The key to product demonstrations is to engage your potential buyer from start to finish. Ask a lot of questions: “Doesn’t that seem easier than what you are currently using?” “Do you see how this could save you money?”

Remember, listen carefully to their comments and answers to your questions. More importantly, watch for changes in facial expressions and body language when they speak. Make a note of it and remember to find a way to readdress it again at some point. Your potential buyers tell you much more about what they are thinking with their body than they will do with their words.

Sharon Knecht is an author, lecturer and sales trainer. She is the author of the upcoming book, “Overcome the Madness, 8 Laws for Sales Success in a Crazy Economy.” For more information, please visit: http://www.sharonknecht.com

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