4 Proven Scientific Principles Behind A Sales Presentation That Converts
The science of sales is largely the science of persuasion. No matter what strategies, tactics and overall philosophy you have, ultimately the goal is pretty much the same across the board.
Fortunately for us sales professionals, the science of persuasion has been studied at length for hundreds of years. Unwittingly, many of us use these proven strategies on a daily basis without knowing the underlying reasons as to why they are effective.
However, even the most seasoned operator is unaware of some of the most fundamental principles and that's where a good presentation comes in.
Below is but a small snapshot of the science of sales and how we use them to deliver results for you.
1. Systematic vs Heuristic Decision Making
Humans make decisions in two ways. Systematically, which is where we devote significant cognitive resources to make a considered decision on the relevant facts available to us. Or, Heuristically, based on superficial elements without devoting too much cognitive resources to the decision.
A good presentation can cater to each of these decision making processes, or, convince the audience to use your desired mode of decision making. For example, if you operate in an environment where you have a great brand but average product, you will want people to use a Heuristic decision making process. If the reverse is true, the desired decision making model will be Systematic.
A great presentation can simultaneously cater to both types of decision making (which is important when their are multiple decision makers)
Whether the audience is processing your message systematically or heuristically, your ability to convey authority (or expertise) is fundamentally important.
Peoples willingness to take at face value what you are saying is directly proportional to how credible they feel you are as a source. This is why independent 3rd party awards and recognition's are so powerful and are plastered across so many websites.
On a side note it's also why so many people insist on fancy (yet somewhat ridiculous) job titles.
3. Industry Norms (Social Proof)
This one is so often overlooked yet so fundamentally important (especially in an ever changing technology landscape.) No matter what stage of the product life-cycle your product is at, a great presentation will emphasise how decision makers in a similar position to the person you are selling to have either adopted or intend to adopt your product. Humans by nature are persuaded what similar humans have done. This is why case studies are so powerful and a great presentation should leverage this to it's maximum effect.
4. Industry Appropriate Metaphors
I've included this one as it has come up very recently with one of our customers in ICT who's biggest problem was getting customers to understand both what their product did and why they should use it.
To exemplify the power of metaphors, perhaps I can illustrate this in a manner that provides both clarity and is somewhat self-serving.
Most people reading this article are currently (or at minimum, were recently) sceptical about the value of a professional sales presentation that incorporates proven methods of persuasion. The fact that we have delivered this for over 100+ customers including some of the biggest companies on the planet, across various industries, yielding clear results may not have convinced you.
So let me put to you a scenario. Imagine you are going to a job interview. It is the job a lifetime. Great pay, great benefits and everything you have ever dreamt of in a job. You are 100% qualified and for all intensive purposes should get it.
My question is "would wearing camo cargo pants and crocs increase or decrease your chance of getting it?"
It doesn’t take much thought to realise the answer.
Would you be more effective in a suit or blazer?
So on that note, think of a professional sales presentation as the clothes that your product wears to the job interview... only more important.