Imagine yourself preparing for the most important large deal presentation of your life. It’s now or never moment. What are you going to say to win the hearts & minds of your customer. More importantly how. Let’s look at the strategies that will dramatically improve your chances of closing large sales deals.
Before we delve deep into how one should go about preparing for the presentation, let’s try to understand the evaluation & selection process. Most often in a large deal you need to submit a detailed response to RFP (Request for Proposal). Your response then will be evaluated for completeness & accuracy.
In today’s world, most pre-purchase research is performed online. A survey from McKinsey & Company shows that online has become the 2nd most important source of information for B2B customers. 35% of B2B pre-purchase activities are digital / social. So it’s important to ensure that you leverage social media & online channels for greater success.
Now, let’s learn about some of the most effective strategies used by high performing sales team.
- 1. Influence via social channels:
High performance sales team uses smart social media reach out as a key strategy to influence decision makers.
As a first step, do a thorough social media research to understand your prospects social media activity, their interest, people they follow, etc. Once you know how they are connected online, it becomes easier to design a reach out strategy. For instance, start tweeting with twitter hashtag that the prospect is following. Join the LinkedIn group where the prospect is active, share your insights.
Do’s & Don’t while engaging via social channels:
- Twitter & LinkedIn is the most preferred channel. Avoid sending messages through Facebook.
- Do follow them on Twitter
- Avoid sending direct one-on-one message. Rather try and engage – perhaps share or like their post
- Join the LinkedIn group where the prospects are active. Freely share your views, useful information via the group
2. Leave a digital footprint:
Gone are the days where you leave copies of printouts after the presentation. I have seen prospect appreciate post presentation digital footprint.
Create a custom microsite showcasing your capabilities, portfolio, demos and contact information. Give an impression that it is custom created for them.
Tools that will help you create website fast:
- Wix: Free website builder
- Squarespace: All-in-one solution for anyone looking to create a beautiful website
- Weebly: Surprisingly easy to create a high-quality website
3. Create a curtain raiser video:
The first few minutes of the presentation is when your prospect pay maximum attention. A well packaged video that clearly highlights your value proposition can tremendously heighten the interest quotient of the prospect.
There are several tools available today that can help you put together videos quickly. Here are some of the most popular one’s. If you are not sure how to do it yourself, feel free to get in touch with us (SlidePanda.com)
- Biteable: Make a video onlinefor free with the video maker
- Animoto: Animoto turns your photos and video clips into professional video slideshows
- RenderForest: Free online slideshow and animated video maker
4. Highlight weak spots:
Know what your customers want most and what your company does best. Focus on where those two meet. Often we are so focused on what we want to say during a presentation, we forget that few hours spent on customer research is well worth the time.
Try and understand the customers business, market positioning, and most importantly the business priorities of the person you are talking too. Website is a good source to find out basic information about the customer – such as their global presence, revenue, business value, etc. You will also gain valuable insights from review sites, analyst reports, news articles, expert reviews. They often highlight weak spots that you could use during your conversation.
5. Emphasize commonalities:
Research shows that people like people who are similar to them. Same goes true in business as well. Customers pay more attention when you highlight commonalities.
I use the strategy of drawing parallels in company values – e.g., you believe in leadership through innovation, we believe in entrepreneurship with innovation. I am sure you will find better examples than this. Some of the frequently highlighted commonalities includes location, corporate values, diversity, culture, people, business growth pattern, etc.
6. Give a guarantee:
While you might truly believe that you have the best product in the world, understand that your customer is talking to 10 other competitors as well. Take a positioning, highlight how you are different from others. If you truly have a differentiated product, your job is that much easier. You just need to highlight the value you deliver vs. your competitors.
Things get tricky if your competitor has an edge. In such cases emphasize more on the softer aspects of business. One of the strategy that worked well for us is providing a guarantee – for example, we say ‘pay only if you are happy with our work’. And you know what, in the last 8 years we did not have a single customer ask for a refund.
7. Cushion the customer from risk:
Risk is one of the key factor that plays a massive influence while taking big business decisions. A strategy to minimize customer risk is one of the major differentiating factor.
Outcome based pricing & partnership is a great example. In outcome based pricing, the customer pays based on business results. In a partnership model, say for instance, you do the business development work in return for a percentage of shares in the customers company.
Hope you enjoyed the read. Do share your feedback and watch this space for more articles.
Appreciate your time!