Back to presentation basics: three tips to impress clients
Mon 20 June 2016 - 10:00 amHot Tips | Marketing | PR | Small Business | Strategy
“It’s not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle money. It’s the customer who pays the wages.” – Henry Ford
You might have established a business under your name, but even if you’re the person with the most authority, you still have another boss to please: the client.
The purpose of your sales and business presentations must be to provide something useful for your clients, including prospects. If you fail to address their concerns, then you put your business in danger. The same goes with exposing clients to text-heavy, bullet-point slides. This not only distracts them from listening to your message, but also hurts your brand’s reputation.
To entice clients, make a great first impression and provide customer satisfaction, you need to deliver a well-crafted presentation. Here are three tips to ‘wow’ clients without boasting about everything you can do.
- Know their expectations
Treating your clients as your boss requires you to create a customer- or client-focused culture within your business. This will involve prioritising meetings with clients, exceeding their expectations to gain their loyalty, and having a competitive advantage above others.
If clients feel like you don’t deliver a service as expected, or your offering isn’t fit for them, there’s a chance that a sales opportunity or new business partnership will be at stake.
Take the restaurant industry as an example. Customers typically expect their food to be on their table in about 10-15 minutes. Any longer than that magnifies the stress of waiting, making them want to complain.
Knowing your clients’ expectations is valuable in keeping a healthy business. After all, they provide your paycheck, but only if you satisfy their needs. Without revenue, your business could be in financial trouble sooner than you think.
Putting yourself in their shoes is the golden mantra to understand their needs. Think about their problems the way you think of yours to develop ways on how to enhance their experience.
Consider the tiniest gaps in their desires like age, and personal preferences, then figure out how to work them out and deliver them.
Highlight the benefits of your offering to show clients that you care about them and that you can fulfill their needs. Anticipate their needs by observing and researching on their buying patterns.
Doing all the necessary homework ahead of a presentation will help you weather any setbacks during it. It’s like being an amusement ride operator, checking a person’s seatbelt before the ride finally starts in motion.
- Keep your points concise
It’s true that you need to sell yourself to grasp a new business opportunity. But the problem lies in digressing from your objective, to the point of losing the deal.
According to Google, people are exposed to 300 exabytes of human-made information nowadays. Anything beyond that can cause them to lose focus and make poorer judgements.
That’s why using less elements matters more in presentations. Keep your slides simple to make your message more digestible, especially now that people’s attention spans have dropped to 8 seconds.
To keep your points concise, ensure their relevance to your topic. Ask yourself: “Does my audience need to know what I did before I came in in this presentation room?” It’s alright to share stories, just make sure to connect them to your ideas.
Avoid using long-winded expressions while presenting. Use precise words as much as possible. For example, instead of saying “At this point in time”, cut it short to “At present” or “Today”. This makes you sound more straightforward and welcoming.
Be conversational to stay on point. Use easy-to-understand words to quickly establish a personal connection between you and your audience. For example, say “basic” instead of “rudimentary.” Replacing difficult jargons with simple ones won’t actually hurt your speech.
- Leverage your brand’s story
Storytelling works for everyone. It stirs up emotions, making your pitch more interesting than simply sharing information. This allows you to connect with your audience, and make your material more memorable.
A recent study conducted by Jennifer Edson Escales, Marketing Researcher at Vanderbilt University, USA, attested to its validity. It was found that research participants have more positive reactions to advertisements that were told as narratives than those who used facts and arguments.
If you want to tickle your client’s curiosity, share a compelling story that mirrors your business values. You can either tell a story on how you helped someone solve his problem on a personal or professional note.
To leverage your brand’s story and establish a sense of trust, begin with hinting at a problem. State the main consumer issue that causes their dissatisfaction towards a situation or product. As your story unfolds, those pain points can help you communicate what solution you have to the client’s central need.
Product features alone won’t entice clients to take your side. Translate these into benefits and briefly explain how they are different from the competitors. Let’s say your business gears toward the automotive industry. Cite features like seat heaters and how they’re practically life-saving devices during winter seasons.
Lastly, encourage your clients to tell their story and speak their minds while you’re presenting. Opening the floor for discussion can give them a sense of belonging, letting you impress them.
State some testimonials from your happy clients. However, choose only feedback from the best, reliable, empathetic clients. This not only proves your product’s effectivity but also your growing positive relationship.
One Last Thing: Place Your Best Foot Forward
Treating your customer as your boss can set the bar high for your business. It takes three ways to impress them with your pitch. Let’s review them:
- First, know their expectations by putting yourself in their shoes and anticipating their needs.
- Second, keep your points relevant and concise.
- Lastly, leverage your brand’s identity through storytelling.
The next time you get the opportunity to present at a client meeting, always put your best foot forward. Your presentation skills can say a lot about you and your company. So, deliver your pitch well to protect and maintain your brand image.
Master these public speaking tips to impress your audience and grow your relationship with them over time!
About the author
- Beard, Ross. “Your Customer Is Your Boss, Here Are 5 Ways You Can Impress Him.” Client Heartbeat. July 8, 2013. Accessed October 26, 2015.
- Gallo, Carmine. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010.
- “Information Overload: Are Our Brains in Trouble?” Declara. September 01, 2015. Accessed October 26, 2015.
- Patel, Neil. “How to Create an Authentic Brand Story that Actually Improves Trust.” Kissmetrics. n.d. Accessed October 26, 2015.
- Schoemaker, Paul. “5 Ways to Know What Your Customers Want Before They Do.” Inc. April 25, 2013. Accessed October 26, 2015.
- Shapiro et al. “Staple Yourself to an Order.” Harvard Business Review. Accessed October 26, 2015.
- Jiwa, Bernadette. “10 Ways To Stand In Your Customer’s Shoes.” The Story of Telling. n.d. Accessed October 26, 2015.