October 4, 2022 5 Min Read
Close More Sales With Collaborative Presentations
Your research is done, your proposal perfected, and you have a beautiful presentation deck to prove it. All that’s left to do is to enter the boardroom and deliver it. You’re poised and ready to persuade. But we’ve all been there — that moment when you come face-to-face with a room full of executives, and the nerves kick in–we go into auto-pilot and deliver a product focused pitch. The last thing a boardroom wants to experience.
When it comes to winning bigger deals, chances are you’ll need to bring the C-Suite into your circle of trust. The secret to moving past intimidation and proving your solution’s value? Adding confident collaboration to every presentation.
Empowered with these three tips for leading collaborative sales presentations, you’ll be able to draw brilliance out of the room’s decision makers — all on the fly.
Exude Executive Presence
So how can you have peer-level conversations with a CEO? Act like a boss yourself by practicing executive presence. In other words, demonstrate confidence, expertise and decisiveness throughout your presentation.
- Preparation is key. Know your audience, your solution and your industry backwards and forwards. Believe you’re the expert in the room, and you will be.
- Present with decisive leadership, and clearly lay out the decisions to be made. For each decision point, once a consensus is reached, summarize the result and move the conversation forward.
Facilitate for Input and Investment
Lucky enough to have an audience of smart, driven people? Use their expertise to your advantage, and let them improve your proposal with new ideas. When you request input — and then incorporate it — customers become more invested in the solution. After all, they co-created it.
- Ask open-ended, high-impact questions that make your customers think. For example, you could ask: “How would this impact your business in three years?”
- Recognize the expertise in the room, and call on it specifically. Like this: “Sasha, from the finance team’s perspective, which option would be better?”
- Incorporate relevant changes into your solution design and implementation plans as you go. Anything outside the presentation’s scope can be put in a “parking lot” for another time.
Getting great feedback during your presentation? Taking verbally-expressed ideas and making them visual is a great way to solidify them in a customer’s mind. This helps show the story of how your solution will achieve your customer’s business goals.
Whether around a physical or virtual whiteboard (like Miro, Mural or editing PowerPoint slides as you go), you can create compelling visuals that correspond to your solution’s value. The most common models you could learn are:
- Process / flow: Show elements related by time or order of operations
- Hierarchy: Show elements as they interrelate by importance; or being a component of the previous element
- 2 x 2: Showing how two variables interrelate, most often with the best outcome represented in the top right quadrant
Done well, a collaborative presentation positions you as a peer to executive customers, demonstrates your ability to incorporate their expertise and visually tell a story that allows them to clearly see how together you will chart a path to joint success.