Communication Skills Blog

Part I: Strategy

You’ve been working hard for months to land a large account, and now it’s about to pay off: your team was invited to present to the buying committee. All you have to do now is ace the group presentation.

Does this scenario make you nervous? Relax! Group presentations can be your opportunity to shine, if you follow our formula for preparation and presentation. This is your time to let your interpersonal communications skills take center stage. We’ll talk about preparation in this post, and next week we’ll cover how to present to win the sale.

Speak the Customer’s Language

Make it clear that your solution is tailored for your customer by using their jargon in your presentation. This means doing your homework to understand their business, their industry and their corporate culture. Use the language they use for their functions and processes, and the terms used in their industry. Customize your presentation materials with their logo and other company graphics. Prospective customers are always concerned about how long it will take a supplier to get up to speed and whether there will be a culture fit. By speaking their language comfortably in the presentation you’ll help allay their concerns on both fronts.

Put Together the Right Team 

Ask your customer contact for a list of who will be present at the presentation (both live and virtually) and make sure that you have as many people in attendance as the prospect. Match their functions as well: if their CEO, IT director or financial executive is there, yours should be, too. You want to make certain that your team can field questions from any vantage point, as well as add value to the conversation from each stakeholder’s perspective.

Plan to have your proposed account executive lead the presentation. This gives that person an opportunity to demonstrate leadership right from the start. It also helps the customer to visualize what it will be like working with your company day to day.  

Organizing Your Presentation 

Start the presentation by introducing your team members and briefly describing what parts of the presentation they’ll cover. Next, demonstrate your understanding of the prospect’s goals by providing a brief overview, along with how you acquired that information. Segue into how and why the solution you’re offering will meet those goals. Then describe the unique benefits that your company offers in terms of what the prospect considers valuable. Never describe your company’s credentials before you talk about the prospect. Remember, it’s about them, not you.

As you create the presentation, be certain that it addresses both the concerns and solutions of each customer contact that will be there, as well as others who will be influence the sale.

Don’t Overwhelm

Your presentation should describe your solution in broad strokes, focusing on strategic issues and your main points. Among the most common presentation mistakes we see at Communispond is providing so much detail that what’s essential gets lost. This includes your slides. Include no more than 3 points per slide.

Next Week: How to Give a Good Group Sales Presentation to Make a Major Sale Part II: Presenting to Win 

Want to learn more about delivering a winning group presentation? Download our free Point Of View Paper: 5 Tips for Giving a Great Presentation


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