Business Presentations – How to Sell From the Platform

Business presentations are essentially about selling. Selling ideas: maybe you get people to change their behaviour, or give you an investment, or reverse a policy. Either way; getting an audience of business executives to buy requires a clear argument, and that requires a clear structure. Read on to get the formula.

Selling ideas in a presentation setting is much like selling face to face, your audience goes through a process of being dissatisfied, they recognise the benefits of change, and then you point them in the direction of a solution.

Taking clients through this sequence requires a highly structured process. One that is not well understood by many business presenters, though those that do understand and use it, sell more, quicker, and with less stress.

The process of selling complex ideas via a presentation is a three step system. In step one, the presenter should spend time developing the problem, in step two the solution is explained, and finally step three involves making specific recommendations and a call to action. Here’s what each step looks like in more detail.

    1. Develop the problem. This stage is essential because you first have to make sure that the audience understands why they need help. Isn’t it the case that if you offered cough medicine to someone who was well, they’d be likely to refuse it? But point out that they look a bit feverish and you may have a buyer. That’s exactly what you are doing in this stage; metaphorically pointing out that your audience might be ill. How you do it is to use case studies, examples and data to get agreement, both on the types and size of problems in your chosen topic.
    2. Show the direction of the solution. Note I have said direction of the solution, you don’t want to give away all the answers so that they can take your advice without paying for it. So your solution should provide value, but have a few critical implementation steps missing. Also it’s important to explain the benefits. Make sure the audience knows what they will gain by using your solution.
    3. Provide a call to action. Make sure you audience knows what to do next. Is it to go to your website? Then don’t leave it to chance, have your URL printed on paper and handed to the audience as they leave the room.

Additionally following this flow will make your presentation easier to build. Simply take the first heading, let’s call it “industry problems”, and write out 2-3 key points, then do the same for the other two sections. Finally under each point provide evidence to back up your argument.

Selling doesn’t need to be tough, like everything in life you just need the paint by numbers formula. So now you have it what are you waiting for, get going!

Why Be Pre-Occupied? “Just Being Present” – Part 2

Being in the lion’s pit of life is interesting at times, isn’t it? This is real tongue-in-cheek stuff. One day or even one afternoon can present so many opportunities to become waylaid with worries, fears and anxieties… enough to last the rest of the day, and into the next, easy!

But, this is where control over the mind and our mental processes can come to our rescue.

Recently, I had the privilege of reading an extraordinary piece of wisdom titled, “Practicing awareness in everyday life.”[1] It’s all about the subject of awareness; the skill of staying in the present. The author says it’s the most important skill that we could acquire.

The issue is about how much of our awake time we spend partially or completely distracted from our present activities, because we’re focused on the past or future–”neither of which exist.”

As we experience life, there are so many things that have just gone or are about to hit us that consume our ordinary thinking. This leaves us drained of the attention we could place in the present. No wonder we struggle to listen to people properly half the time.

This subject is all about staying ‘in the truth.’ It’s about sticking with our senses and what they tell us to feel, in the moment. We’re told to focus, particularly around decision-making, on what we’re actually thinking, feeling, saying and doing–that is, we need to be intimately aware of ourselves.

Even simple tasks such as brushing our teeth should require all our ‘manual’ attention. The objective here is to train the mind to think manually, and resist our preponderance to go into mental autopilot. We should “practise awareness until we can operate ‘automatically on manual’, so we can choose to ‘manually go to automatic’.”

What this means is once we’re trained to be aware at will, we then have the ability to become more competent over our attitudes; we become ‘attitudinally competent.’ We can then screen out the unhelpful emotional distractions, scheduling our focus on these for times when we wish to deliberately reflect on the past and plan for the future. We effectively hold the moment (emotionally) and deal with it at a predetermined time later.

We should become adept at being a silent observer of ourselves, being attuned to our thoughts, feelings, words and actions. There is no more basic a goal for a person to have than to become self-aware, and that continually so.

We must resist allowing our minds to wander and meander in undisciplined ways; sure, when we watch a movie and want to relax, a free mind is fine; but truly, do we think an unfocused mind dribbling through the immediate past or near future is helpful? It can’t possibly be and “running of ‘old part-fiction movies’ is insanity.”

Reflection and planning must be restricted to “fully truthful” aspects. We need to determine what truth there is, sifting out the innuendo and assumptions.

So, let’s get to work on not being pre-occupied mentally and simply stay in the moment practicing awareness. Even during so-called stressful times, we’ll benefit from the fresh perspective and strength that comes as a result.

Commercial Real Estate Sales – Prelisting Kits for Better Presentations

In commercial real estate, it is wise to use a pre-listing kit when it comes to pitching for the sale or leasing of property. A pre-listing kit should be supplied to the vendor prior to the final meeting with the vendor. The issuing of the pre-listing kit also allows the real estate agent the necessary time to undertake the inspection of the property.

Supply the kit to the property owner at least 24 hours prior to the meeting. In that 24 hour time frame the salesperson can inspect the property in detail so that the final proposal or sales pitch is matched to the needs of the property and the vendor.

The structure of the pre-listing kit is as follows:

  1. A personal profile of the salesperson undertaking the enquiry. That should include your experience in the industry locally and examples of your successes.
  2. An information brief detailing the property and its basic attributes that are currently being inspected for the client. Make reference to the fact that the inspection process is critical to the presentation to come. You want to ensure that the recommendations you make are matched to the attributes of the property.
  3. A detailed company profile of the agency involved in the presentation. That should include some information of success in the area. Further to that, information should be given regards the variations of services which may help this sale process. For example leasing services, and property management services that can package the property for the future sale.
  4. Examples of the marketing alternatives available in the sales process which will be discussed in the following meeting.
  5. Details of similar properties with which your company has had successful involvement of recent time.
  6. Examples of Property Marketing currently active in the local area.
  7. Testimonials from happy clients and customers in recent property transactions.
  8. As simple summary of the preparation of a typical commercial or retail property for sale involving the property tenant mix, the leasing profile, and physical attributes to the property which will be looked at.
  9. A question and answer sheet to be provided to the property owner so they can raise any special questions in the following meeting.
  10. A statement regards the inspection process which is currently being undertaken on the subject property so that the listing presentation can be effectively targeted.

The use of the kit is primarily to prepare the client for the detailed listing presentation to come. The listing presentation is far more detailed and involved. The listing presentation talks to specifics of the marketplace, the property, and the target market which you believe will be relative to the property promotion.