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The art of the sales presentation takes a lifetime to perfect.

OopsOver the years, you hone your personal appearance, speaking skills, negotiation tactics and customer service methods. However, between constantly evolving technology and buyer behaviors, modern sales professionals find that the old way of things are no longer the right way of doing things.

So, when it comes to the ever-important sales presentation, are you doing them all wrong? Here are four symptoms that you’re behind the times when it comes to sales presentations:

  1. You’re using the same slide template from 2001.
  2. You only make sales presentations in person or over the phone.
  3. You shake hands, hand out a business card and that’s that.
  4. You speak for over five minutes without interruptions or questions, and every meeting lasts exactly 60 minutes.

If these scenarios sound familiar, it’s time to get you back on track perfecting the art of the sales presentation.

Step 1: Upgrade your presentation creation tools.

Slide decks and business cards are still staples in the presentation arena, but new tools take those old-school methods, add a little tech polish and provide a better experience for everyone. Here are some great tools that will get you out of the PowerPoint® funk.

Canva‘s free online tool helps professionals of any skill level create high-quality graphic design elements, including presentation slides that are available to download and share as PDF files. Free templates and layouts offer the most up-to-date, modern design styles, which you can customize with your own images, colors and fonts.

Haiku Deck‘s free app also helps you make visually compelling presentations in minutes. Just select your format and layout for text, add high-quality images to the background and then export presentations as PPTX or PDF files for sharing.

Step 2: Add video narration to your presentation slides.

iMeetThe average business person attends 60 meetings a week, either in person or via conference calls. For you, the salesperson trying to get in and close a deal, that means you’re competing to just get in the door. Effective sales reps, however, are taking modern tech tools like sales productivity software to gain customers’ attention, facilitate simulated face-to-face presentations and close the deals.

Simply upload your slide deck (as a PPT, PPTX or PDF file) and choose whether you want to add video or audio-only narration using your webcam or microphone. Next, you can customize your presentation with additional chapters, polls and attachments; set up tracking and lead generation; share it by email, link, social media or embedded in a website and view real-time analytics to assess your presentation’s reception.

Step 3: Follow up virtually.

Once you analyze your presentation’s performance metrics, quickly follow up with the warmest leads by using your personal iMeet online meeting room.

Step 4: One more thing…

Outside the techie ways to get the presentation done, even the methods employed during speeches and presentations have changed. The listen-and-learn philosophy is over. Customers want to collaborate with trusted partners more than ever before.

To really learn about your customers and establish yourself as not just a vendor, but a trusted adviser, employ these techniques to put the “it factor” in your sales presentations and follow-up online meetings:

  • Identify their pain points. Come prepared with a list of questions and ask them. Easy as that.
  • Share your human side. Salespeople often try too hard to impress customers. In the era of social media and collaboration, however, customers want to get to know the real you. Share photos of your animals, kids and hobbies in your slide decks and don’t be afraid to share a personal story.
  • Engage all five senses. Salespeople can get stuck in the corporate-approved, road map-style presentation, but, again, that’s old-school, one-way-dialogue thinking. To really engage your prospects and customers, remember that customers learn not just with their ears, but also their eyes, nose, taste and touch. Use visually appealing slides that will engage all the senses for a 100-percent sensory understanding of what you’re putting on the table.
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