To become a highly successful salesperson, you must develop your sales skills. The first step in this process is to learn the different types of sales presentations that are available. By understanding each format you will be able to tailor your approach to suit the audience, location, and items that you are selling.
The Purpose of a Sales Presentation
The main goal of a sales presentation is to present a product, service, or business opportunity and persuade the audience to purchase it. The most basic sales presentations are an introduction to your offering, where you explain who you are and what you are selling. More advanced presentations will share detailed information about the items you are selling and can be tailored to a specific audience.
To convince someone to commit to making a purchase, your sales presentation must:
- Successfully introduce your business, the industry, and what is being sold
- Build rapport and trust between you and the prospect
- Explain the unique advantages that purchasing your product or service will provide
- Motivate the prospect to take action
A good sales presentation will focus on the needs of the prospect while informing, educating, and inspiring them to learn more about your offering (concepts which are hard-baked into our sales presentation software). It should connect with the prospect on both an emotional and logical level, motivating them to take action. Finally, it should alleviate any concerns that the prospect has about your offering and make it look like it is the best option available.
Common Types of Sales Presentations
The Elevator Pitch
The elevator pitch is the shortest sales presentation that you can make, but it can also be the most difficult to master. It involves presenting your product, service, or business to a new prospect in less than 2 minutes. Your goal is simple — to introduce your offering in a compelling way that makes the prospect interested in learning more.
The challenge of making an elevator pitch is to take all of the important information about your offering and convey it into a very short amount of time. This is made harder by the fact that you will usually be talking to a new prospect — with whom you have limited rapport.
A good elevator pitch will leave the prospect wanting to know more. Once the prospect has confirmed they are interested in your offering, you can arrange to meet with them again to provide more information.
The advantage of mastering the elevator pitch is that you will always be ready to present your offering wherever you are, without the need for props or handouts. You will be able to use your elevator pitch when meeting prospects at conferences, social events, and business seminars.
The Cold Call Sales Pitch
A cold call sales pitch involves talking to a prospect for the first time over the telephone or via Internet. While many salespeople will use a pre-determined script during cold calls, it is also possible to tailor a pitch to meet the circumstances of the prospect. This type of sales presentation needs to be short and to the point initially, but can go in any direction once rapport has been established with the prospect.
Written Sales Presentations
There will be many situations where you cannot meet with a prospect face-to-face. In these cases, you may need to use a written sales presentation. You can use a number of different formats to convey your written sales pitch, ranging from website landing pages and emails through to brochures and information packages.
The key challenge to creating a written sales presentation is to keep the reader interested. That is why most written presentations are short and to the point. For example, take a look at the landing page for Transfer Wise. It is a one page, 250-word sales presentation in webpage format. It clearly tells the prospect the value of the service, explains how it works, offers social proof, shares positive media reviews, and displays how much money users are saving.
Traditional sales presentations written as a document often include much more information, but the concept is the same — describe the offering, explain the benefits, offer proof, and provide the opportunity to learn more.
If you are selling a product or service to another business or an investor, the presentation might involve a small number of participants and take place in a meeting room. These kinds of sales presentations are usually planned presentations that are targeted towards the requirements of the prospect.
Full Sales Presentations
A full sales presentation is a long-form presentation that lets you go into much more detail about the offering. Most full sales presentations involve an in-person presentation, however, they can also be performed online or over the phone. It is common for full sales presentations to incorporate audio-visual aspects like charts, photos, music, and videos. Formats for full sales presentations include:
- Canned presentations
These are fully prepared presentations where every word and prop is organized in advance. The sales person simply memorizes their speech and delivers it to the audience. This type of sales presentation is often used by telemarketers, door-to-door salespeople, and pharmaceutical representatives.
- Planned presentations
A planned presentation is also carefully prepared, but it has more scope for interaction between the salesperson and the audience. The salesperson introduces the business and its offering before running through a set of key points. It is a more conversational approach and audience has the opportunity to ask questions during or after the presentation. A planned presentation is often tweaked to suit the audience receiving the sales pitch. This format is often used for business meetings, seminars, and webinars.
These two formats can be used in a number of ways, including:
Problem Solving Presentations
Presenting a problem then offering a product or service as a solution is a very effective sales presentation technique. This kind of technique is often used to sell products like life insurance. The salesperson simply describes the dangers of not having insurance followed by the solution that insurance provides. The prospect sees the risk and reward components and can make an informed decision.
A webinar is a sales presentation conduction over the Internet. An interested prospect can connect to an audio-visual presentation to watch the salesperson discuss their product or service. Throughout the presentation, the salesperson can answer questions submitted from viewers via a chat system. This type of sales presentation is very useful as it allows salespeople to talk directly to hundreds of prospects located all around the world.
Teleconference and Videoconference sales presentations are performed in a similar way, however, there is usually less opportunity for interaction between the salesperson and the prospects.
A seminar is a very large scale sales presentation which can involve hundreds of prospects. Most seminars are canned presentations with Q&A sessions afterwards. Sales presentations performed at seminars are fairly generalized due to the large number of attendees.
The sales presentation techniques listed here form an important part of your arsenal. Think about the kind of audience you are interested in selling to before deciding on the right approach for your sales presentation.