- Blog post
In sales, nightmares are an occupational hazard. And not all of them happen when you’re sleeping.
Take, for example, the sales version of the old “The final exam is today and I forgot to study” dream. In sales, it’s “The big sales presentation is today and I left the PowerPoint back at the office.”
Rest easy, my friend.
I’m going to show you a simple way to put together an effective sales presentation on the fly, using nothing more than a flip chart and a single marker. (If you’re really up against it, you don’t even need the flip chart. You can do it on a sheet of paper.) It’ll work with just about any product or service, for just about any prospect.
STEP 1: Step to the front of the room. Thank everyone for coming. Tell them that instead of a typical boring PowerPoint presentation, you’d like to try something different.
STEP 2: Turn to the flip chart and write “Your needs as we understand them” at the top of the sheet.
STEP 3: List the buyer’s needs as you understand them, based on what they’ve told you and what you’ve been able to discover on your own. Try to be as complete as possible, but don’t worry if you’ve forgotten any. Because…
STEP 4: Next, you’ll ask, “Is there anything on this list that shouldn’t be there? Anything missing?” Add and delete as necessary.
STEP 5: Announce, “Now I’d like to have a discussion – all of us in this room – to arrive at the best way to address these needs.” Begin the discussion.
That’s it. No fancy graphics. No dog and pony. You’re not putting on a show. You’re running a roll-up-your-sleeves, let’s-get-this-done working meeting.
This approach is simple. But it’s not easy. To pull it off, you need to know your products and services backwards and forwards. You need to understand what makes your buyer tick. You need to know what’s worked for other customers. You need to be able to offer suggestions, uncover hidden pitfalls and gently guide people toward a solution.
The payoff is that by the time you finish, everyone in the room will own a piece of that solution, because everyone helped create it. And that means they’ll be more likely to buy the solution.
One more thing: You don’t have to wait for a disaster to use this approach. In fact, why not try it for your next presentation?