Four steps to outline your sales presentation for better persuasion


Julkaistu 09.06.2016

I recently had a chat with Dhruv from Vapi, Daman and Diu, India. Dhruv’s company manufactures mechanical screens that are used in industrial wastewater treatment plants. Dhruv had received an assignment from his boss to create a sales presentation to represent their product.

For Dhruv it was the first time he needed to create a sales presentation on his own. Normally people would sit on their computer, shoot up PowerPoint and start listing features and benefits of their product. Dhruv knew better and he went out seeking advice from experts. He landed on our website and we had a chat about how you should go about crafting a sales presentation.

As a sidenote, I want to emphasize that what we are about to discuss here is how you create a persuasive description of your product or service. This is not how you should give a sales presentation each and every time. Each sales meeting is different – some of your customers are well aware about what you offer, while others need to be educated more.  Therefore you should listen more than you speak in a sales meeting and adapt your presentation according to what you hear.

But here it goes…here are four steps to how you can outline your sales presentation to make it more persuasive.

1. Start your sales presentation by answering the question why

Why are we here? What is the problem that we are here to solve?

As said, some of your customers are aware of the problem, but some of them are not. Therefore your sales presentation should include a clear and vivid description of the problem that exists in the daily life of your customer.

Below you can see a couple of screenshots from the beginning of Tesla Powerwall keynote presentation. As you can see Elon Musk makes a thorough job to state why there is a need for new solutions for energy production.

Tesla Powerwall keynote presentation's big why

Tesla Powerwall keynote presentation's big why

Although the setting of Musk’s presentation differs from a typical day-to-day sales meeting, the same principle applies: You cannot sell a solution before you have sold the problem.

2. Create urgency for change

If you managed to get your customer nodding on your definition of the problem you have made it to the first base. Sometimes, just stating the problem is not enough to advance the sale. You also need to sell the urgency to change something.

For your customer, there is a cost in changing something in their daily life and by principle people don´t like  change if it is not necessary.

Therefore you need to tell your customer what is the cost of not addressing the problem.

  • How much money do they lose daily?
  • How many sales opportunities are missed daily?
  • Why do they risk losing to their competitors?

3. Tell about your solution and its benefits

This is how a layman presenter would usually start his sales presentation. Sometimes you can jump right into your solution description, if your customer is already well-educated. But for those that are not that well-educated you need the two stages that we discussed before.

When you go about creating the description of your solution, good rule of thumb is F-A-B.

Feature -> Advantage-> Benefit

Your product or service has features, these features lead to advantage in comparison to the existing or competing solutions,  and this advantage creates a benefit for the customer.

Screen Shot 2016-06-09 at 09.03.36

The first introduction of the iPod was a great example on the use F-A-B.

  • Feature – a portable mp3 player with the biggest storage space in the market
  • Advantage – The cost of the device divided by the number of songs it holds is the lowest compared to  anything in the market
  • Benefit – One thousand songs in your pocket


4. Own the next step

Finally, when you have sold the problem, created the urgency to change and stated the benefits of your solution, you want to finish strong. Therefore it is necessary that you take the initiative of defining the next step before your presentation and sales meeting is over.

If the deployment of your product or solution is more or less same from one case to another, you can even include the nexts step that will naturally move the opportunity forward as part of your presentation.

This is how you can outline your sales presentation. As said in the beginning, this not how you should give the presentation each and every time. You need to adapt your presentation for each meeting. Here you can find some further reading about how you should approach giving a sales presentation.


If you liked this, you may enjoy these too