Start it Right: How To Build A Sales Presentation

Posted - September 29, 2017

Every sales message has the intent of being successful by driving your audience to action. However, not all sales messages achieve this goal. I have found that in order to be truly exceptional, it is critical that your sales message starts the right way, with the proper cornerstone in place. It’s about knowing how to build a sales presentation. To be exceptional, you must use a well-designed communication principle that builds upon a firm, audience-centric foundation.

As an example, let me quote from an article by The Hartford that gives sales guidance to business owners. In the “Business Owner’s Playbook,” The Hartford communicates a familiar message for sales:

  1. Identify the problem. Appeal to your audience’s emotions, and get them thinking that they really need to find a solution to this problem. This builds trust, and shows that you “get it.”
  2. Present the solution. Introduce and describe your product or service and touch on why it solves the problem.
  3. Demonstrate value. Go into more detail on how your product or service solves the problem. Use research results, statistics, awards, testimonials, and specific examples to build your case.
  4. State a call to action. The call to action is probably the single most defining feature of direct response marketing. It clearly tells the customer what you expect them to do next. Give them the tools and contact points, such as a phone number, email address, shopping cart link, or website link depending on the action you want them to take.
This sales message is good. It is not exceptional. We can identify an opportunity to take a good sales message and transform it into one that is clear, concise, and compelling. The transformation begins at the most basic, foundational level. It begins with laying the appropriate audience-centric cornerstone as mentioned above. This critical piece is missing in The Hartford example. Once in place, the cornerstone will be built provide support for a more cohesive and compelling message that makes a stronger impact on the audience.

Understanding the Cornerstone Concept

The cornerstone of your sales message must be intensely focused on your audience. It must hone in on his primary goal or objective. Many times, the goal is confused and out of order. Instead of being in-tune with the goal of the audience, the message is more in-tune with the goal of our own company — “to get the audience to buy our product.” That is the wrong order. The most effective sales message keeps the the goal of the audience first and the goal of our own company as a natural second. The goal and objective of your audience is specific to him, and it is almost always ultimately to increase revenue or reduce overhead.
Key Point – In crafting the cornerstone of your sales message: Listen carefully to your audience. Learn what he desires. Refer to it often.
Once the cornerstone is in place, the building blocks of your sales message will support and remind the audience that you understand his goal, recognize his problem, and have the best solution to reach his goal. The building blocks will look more like this:
  • Cornerstone
    1. Goal – State your audience’s objective or desired outcome
    2. Pain Points – Acknowledge your understanding of his problem
    3. Solution – Demonstrate how and why your company provides the best solution to overcome his problem and achieve his goal (referring back to points one and two)
  • Supporting Arguments – Present data and statistics to underscore the credibility of your company’s solution. Present facts in a simple, visual way that is easy for him to understand.
  • Closing Arguments – Stay focused on the audience’s goal and clearly communicate what you want your audience to do after hearing your message. Resist the temptation to give him more information than he needs to make an informed decision.
If you remember that your audience is king, they will respect you for it, and your sales message will be exceptional.

Sales Message: Start Right with the Cornerstone

infographic - how to build a sales presentation with your audience as your cornerstone

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