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Have you ever felt the rush of making a sale? How exciting it can be to set a goal, reach for it, and conquer it; it’s quite the adrenaline rush. Especially thanks to technology, sales have changed from the time when your uncle was a used car salesman. Yet, the essence is really the same – charm your customer.
Pitch decks are a pretty standard tool in most companies and industries, meant to provide a visual demonstration of the narrative you have prepared. They should excite, enamor, and enthuse. Thankfully you don’t need to be Don Draper to put together a killer sales pitch deck.
Get to Know the Customer
There’s a story about a salesman trying to sell a drill, only to realize he should’ve been selling the hole. The customer is looking for a hole, not a drill – the drill is how they will achieve their goal. The salesman isn’t using his drill to create the hole; he’s selling the drill as the path to the hole. Whatever your goal aka your product, your sales deck should ultimately be focused on how you want to help your customer achieve their goal, and show your enthusiasm for how you’ll do just that. The more you can make your customer feel as though you are wholly invested in their wellbeing, the better chance you have of having a successful business relationship.
Tell A Story
It may seem obvious to tell a story with your pitch deck, but again its effectiveness is not to be underestimated. All of the best stories offer a beginning, middle, and an end, taking you through an introduction, a rising action, a climax, and on to a fairytale ending. It’s a naturally enjoyable experience for your customer that will allow them to envision their relationship with you. It takes them through the highs and lows that prompt them to experience your presentation in an emotional way, rather than just subjective analysis.
Highlight the Pain
One of the most crucial parts of a sale is the creation of urgency, which involves a shared understanding of the pain points a customer is experiencing and wants to overcome. Remember, this isn’t always something that is having a harmful impact; a pain point can easily be an area for improvement. Demonstrating just how you will improve your client’s daily life, in the short or long-term, allows your customer to feel that you understand their wants and needs, that you’re paying attention. While you should avoid focusing on it for too long, dedicating 1-3 slides (about ⅓ of your presentation) to the pain point(s) will provide you the opportunity to express and describe your grasp on their pain points.
Emphasize the Solution
Of course, you can’t touch upon your customers’ problems without offering a solution – what you’re offering is the solution; the most enjoyable or effective route to the solution. Think of Michael Scott selling paper. Competing against the big guys, he reminds his customers that, unlike at staples, they will always enjoy a personal, friendly experience and be genuinely valued at Dunder Mifflin. It’s a value proposition; your customer feels understood and supported in both their personal and business goals by your doing x, and also y, and z too. Whatever you’re selling is the path toward their goal resolution, so allowing them to envision the most accessible way forward is your goal.
A great sales deck is no mistake. Every detail is thought out. However, it can be difficult to be objective about your own work, not only in the way of pertinent information but also in the design and smaller details. One of the best ways to inspect your sales deck is to consider strong examples of other highly successful companies and projects. Cirrus Insight suggests that by using similar visual and textual presentation elements, similar to these 21 sales deck examples, you can close the sale. Take your time exploring sales deck examples, breaking down the various pieces like those outlined in this article.
Involve Social Media
Over 70% of small to mid-sized businesses use social media to market themselves, so you can safely assume your client posts regularly, or has at the very least considered using social media. Of course, you’ll be familiar with their social media platforms from the research you do on them. Use this to your advantage. If your product doesn’t relate or easily translate to their social media presence, you should still be showing them that you understand its capacity for them. Share your own social media handles, and consider including theirs. It will show you’re up to speed with business trends, and also reinforce their perception of the accessibility you provide.
What’s more boring than reading statistics? While they are important, and can actually be really interesting and inspiring, you can easily lose your client’s attention if your deck just lists off the data. Using visually interesting graphics is an excellent way to share critical information in that they are more visually stimulating and more memorable. If you want to show your success in conversion rate optimization, for example, an infographic will stand out in your clients’ minds so that when your success and the impacts of their pain points will be at the forefront of their minds.
Employ the Second Set of Eyes
As discussed earlier, it can be difficult to be objective about your own work. While your customers may not be able to pinpoint exactly what’s off in your sales deck, they are still likely to notice, especially when your pitch is stacked against other contenders. It’s okay if you’re not visually creative, but you should have another set – or sets – of eyes have a look and make suggestions on what can be changed, removed, or improved. Taking your time to test out your presentation gives you a chance to make improvements that you missed earlier.
Your deck communicates what it is you can do for your customer. However, not all decks are created equal. Small mistakes, obvious or not, can greatly impact the effect you achieve and can create a negative perspective on the part of the client, which will ultimately affect their decision to work with you or not. Using these techniques, you can create a successful sales pitch deck that will captivate your client and bring you continued success!