It’s a question I’m often asked by clients- The honest answer is, obviously, ‘It depends on who’s in the audience’ but in reality you have to choose an influencing strategy before you start to prepare your pitch.
Most people only have one approach, and use it without thinking, and some people know a few strategies, but are more comfortable with one than the rest so they too have their ‘default’ position; which can make for an inflexible approach to sales presentations. And let’s face it lots of our work is ‘selling’, even if it’s ideas and options rather than pots and pans.
Three key approaches to ‘sales’ presentations can be summarized as follows…
1. A motivated sequence approach– Classic sales pitch useful with trusted and trusting clients
When you have a clear plan that you believe is right and you lead your client through- Attention-getting, client-need identification, proposal plan to deliver, results focus, and direction to action.
2. A reflective/discursive approach– Great for clients that need to reach consensus together and with you, and particularly for complex projects. When you lead your client through your thinking from problem definition through possible solutions to chosen solution, solution benefits and a final call to action.
3. Proposition to proof of proposition– Where you’ve done the thinking and the answer is clear to you and you’re convinced it’s right for the client. Where you short-cut to your solution (proposition) then ‘prove’ it’s the right one for them in the rest of your pitch.
My advice? Choose the right ‘sales’ or persuasion strategy for each opportunity depending on-
- the quality of the relationship you have with your client,
- the complexity of the issue you are discussing, and
- the likely levels of agreement or disagreement your client team may have about the solution.
Marjorie Brody outlines three key influencing approaches in a great deal of detail (all good!) in her post indicated below. See Marjorie’s excellent post here- Marjorie Brody | Six Minutes.
This is a part of my Fit, Focus & Flair model. To be great, a presentation must be a perfect FIT for the situation; the content must have complete FOCUS on it’s purpose and message; and it must have enough FLAIR to stand out on the day, and in our memories. Learn more about developing your Fit, Focus and Flair.