Volume 17, Issue 3 - May/June 2013

Open 24/7
By Manny Hondroulis

Giving a Sales Presentation

As a sales and marketing representative of a window film distribution company, I find myself speaking to end-users on behalf of my dealers. I have created PowerPoint presentations on sun control, security, decorative, etc., that dealers can present to end-users and I also make myself available in person or via a webinar on behalf of my dealers. I thought I would share with you how I prepare and pitch.

Don’t Read the Slides
I start by creating a short, yet specific and relevant PowerPoint; I do not make it “one-size-fits-all.” Instead, I customize the slides, tailoring the message to give the appearance it was created specifically for the end-user, incorporating the current date, the company logo, picture(s) of the building(s) and anything else that creates familiarity for the audience.

PowerPoint is used to help you organize your thoughts and communicate your words when in front of the audience and should not be a written version of the presentation itself – so don’t read from the slides. End-user meetings usually last an hour so try to avoid using more than 20 slides. Each page should have a title to remind you of its purpose. The first one can be an introductory slide showing meeting purpose, date and parties in attendance. The second can contain the meeting’s agenda or overview of the PowerPoint. At this time, and if appropriate, remind the audience that they can interrupt you at any time with questions. Subsequent slides can be the “meat” of the discussion, in which you show and prove how window film addresses the challenges the audience faces. Try to anticipate questions that may be asked and weave in the answers. Rehearse the PowerPoint several times with a colleague so your delivery seems natural.

Interact with the Audience
Try to make the event interactive by bringing a demonstration that is appropriate and relevant to the meeting’s topic. Filmed glass samples go a long way, so consider passing them around for the audience to see. If you’re discussing security film, consider smashing a piece of filmed glass, assuming that it is safe and practical to do so. This interaction will help prove to the audience that window film works and will ease any potential monotony from one person addressing a group of people without any reciprocating dialog.

A Few More Things
Make sure all potential logistical issues are addressed. Confirm the appointment, the number of attendees, the room location and that A/V equipment, usually a LCD projector, screen and speakers, will be available and in working condition (if the meeting is one-on-one, you may be able to present from your iPad or laptop). Print copies for each attendee. This is very useful in case there are any technical difficulties with the A/V equipment. Place in a folder with marketing materials and sample cards. Save your presentation to a flash drive in case you have to use another computer when onsite.

On meeting day, it’s a good idea to arrive to the appointment 30 minutes early to give you the necessary time to set up and solve any possible technical difficulties. Have all sales aides and the folders nicely laid out on the table ready to serve their purpose.

After speaking, thank everyone for their time and ask if there are any questions. The next day, craft an email to all in attendance thanking them again for their time and address any action items that resulted from the meeting.

The more presentations you make, the more natural it will feel. My process works best for me but do what works for you because in the end your comfort level will dictate the ease with which you present the subject matter.

Manny Hondroulis is marketing manager for Energy Products Distribution in Baltimore.

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