- Why are first impressions important in a sales presentation?
- 7 Tips on how to start an effective sales presentation
- Your sales presentation’s beginning can determine the outcome
The opening of a sales presentation is key, as it can determine its outcome. How you start a sales presentation will influence the impression your audience has of you. It can influence them positively towards what you’re going to say afterward, or on the contrary, make them decide that they’re not interested at all. Here you’ll find 7 easy ideas you can put into practice to build rapport and make an impactful first impression with your sales presentation’s opening.
Why are first impressions important in a sales presentation?
Researches have determined that first impressions are usually built between the first 7 to 10 seconds of meeting someone. And sales presentations are no exception to this rule! The opening to your presentation can play a key role in how effectively you close business deals.
The beginning of any kind of presentation has a strategic significance. It defines how the rest of your presentation is going to be read by your audience. The start of a sales presentation can help you convey trustworthiness and professionalism, and make the rest of your presentation more credible. It can help you showcase that you’re aware of their pain points and needs, and thus make your audience more likely to pay attention during the rest of the presentation. Or, on the other hand, it can create an antagonistic, uninteresting image of yourself, and end up losing them from the get-go.
Learning how to start an effective sales presentation is all about creating a connection with your audience. The more engaging you’re, the more likely they’re to be positively predisposed to the rest of your presentation. From your opening line to your PowerPoint slides design, how you start your sales presentation must be evaluated strategically in order to create a truly effective sales presentation.
7 Tips on how to start an effective sales presentation
There is no one true formula for how to start a successful sales presentation. Like most things, it can depend on many different factors. For example, the previous relationship you have with your audience, what kind of product or service you’re offering, how far into the sales funnel you’re working on, and so on. All these elements come into play when trying to create the perfect opening for your sales presentation. Here you’ll find 7 easy ideas you can put into practice and in what specific circumstances you might want to use them.
1. Use and icebreaker
An icebreaker is one of the most straight forward ways to tackle the issue of how to start a sales presentation. The main objective of this technique is, just like its name suggests, to break the “ice” in the room. ‘Ice’ meaning any sort of awkwardness or uncomfortableness that might be happening. It’s pretty normal to feel uncomfortable in new situations, especially if there’s a lot in the line. And in sales presentations, there usually is!
An icebreaker can help you get out of that initial awkwardness. They can help you get your audience more at ease, and project a more confident, open image of your self. This will not only help you connect with your audience, but also make them more willing to hear out what you have to say. Icebreakers are great for not only sales, but all kinds of presentations, and even one-on-one conversations. If you want to know more about how to start using them, here’s a complete guide on icebreakers.
2. Introduce yourself
Even if this might seem like a given, many people dismiss the importance of a good initial introduction. How you look and how you talk are key components of first impressions, but so is what you say about yourself. Are there values, credentials, or experience that might throw some light on your presentation? Or give your audience a different perspective on the topics that are going to be discussed?
In a sales presentation where the renown and name of your company plays a big role in selling the product, a good introduction can play a key role in gaining your audience.
3. Work on your presentation design
Even if the content is the main focus of any presentation, there’s no denying that the visual aspect can also play a key role. Think about a job interview and how are first impressions build. Even if it’s a well-spoken person, chances are you’re not going to forget if they look unprofessional or unpolished.
Presentations are pretty much your business presentation card. A good presentation design can help you convey so much more than what’s written on the slides. It can help you look more professional and trustworthy. A presentation design can even convey values that you want to be associated with your brand. If you’re selling a product that prides itself on its uniqueness and creative design, and all-white default slide is probably not the best way to showcase that!
However, spending hours working on your slides’ design is not usually very practical. Luckily, you can always delegate it! Investing in professional PowerPoint design is a great starting point for working on your sales presentations’ first impressions. Professional designers will help you get an outstanding presentation that will stay in your audience’s minds long after it’s over. And, you can use that free time to improve your presentation’s content and practice your delivery!
4. Set your presentation agenda
Are you working on a presentation where you already have an established relationship or deal with your audience? In this case, beginning your presentation with your agenda for the session might be a good option for you. Even if it’s not the first time you interact with your audience, how you begin your sales presentation is still very important. Especially if you’re talking about closing a deal or getting into business-related details.
Starting your presentation with an agenda can help you convey professionalism and trustworthiness. It shows that you’re prepared. Since your audience already knows you, your company or your product starting with an agenda is a great way to show that you are not afraid to get to the nitty-gritty straight away. It gives your audience a clear roadmap of the presentation points and helps them get a better understanding of it as a whole.
5. Add an inspiring quote
When thinking about how to start your sales presentation a quote might be an idea to consider. Especially when it comes from a renowned source, a quote can help give authority to your presentation. Just letting your audience read the quote and reflect on it can be a great starting point for a more engaging, participative presentation!
6. Engage with your audience
Building rapport with your audience is one of the most effective ways to get them to listen to you. PowerPoint offers a wide array of options for making a presentation more engaging. Polls and quizzes are a great option to make your audience feel like an active participant. And, it’s a great way to throw some light into common issues and pain points that you can later tackle during your presentation. By opening your presentation this way, you’ll not only create a more friendly environment by inviting them to participate in the presentation but also open their disposition to learn more about potential solutions you might offer.
7. Use storytelling techniques
Just like a quote, using storytelling is a good option for tackling how to start a sales pitch presentation. Storytelling gives a presentation an emotional charge and makes the audience feel closer to the issue presented. Stories can enhance a message and illustrate a point. And, they can also help you break the ice and make yourself feel closer to your audience. To make it a truly effective sales presentation beginning, don’t forget to connect the story to your product or service!
Shawn Achor’s TEDTalk is the perfect example for those looking for examples of how to use storytelling to begin a presentation.
Your sales presentation’s beginning can determine the outcome
Preparing a sales pitch takes time and effort, and there’s no easy way around it. If you want to get the results, you have to put the work on it first! There’s no one magic formula for learning how to start a sales presentation. But putting some work into it will definitely pay off. Whether it is through a quote, a story, or a poll, engaging your audience and helping them get into the presentation’s topic will help you get a more open disposition towards the rest of it.
Don’t forget that the visual elements also play a huge role in your sales pitch first impression. Just like you should invest some time and effort in looking as polished and professional as possible, the same goes for your PowerPoint! Your presentation slides can become an exceptional tool to convey your message more effectively. Professional custom PowerPoint design can help you get outstanding results that you couldn’t be able to achieve on your own. And, it’ll free you some time that you can invest in improving your delivery and content!
Learning how to start a truly outstanding sales presentation is a process of trial and error. It’s all about defining your personal style, what works best for you and your product, and what values and messages you can convey through your slides.