Must Have Pitch Material Guide for Technical Sales Engineers
A big part of technical sales is presenting your product or service to prospects and potential customers. Usually, this involves a PowerPoint presentation full of facts, figures, and examples. Sometimes, salespeople think that their pitch should contain every single piece of information on their product for it to be a “complete” presentation. However, this is not the way to approach a pitch.
Pitch Material Tips
1) Keep Your Slide Decks Simple
Like many things in life, simplicity is key. Keep your slides as simple as possible so you can focus on your audience. If you include too much information, the only thing that will happen is that you’ll lose the attention of your audience. This will happen whether you’re presenting during a face-to-face meeting or you’re sharing your screen over a Zoom call. Having a lot of information on your slides won’t help you sell your product. Instead, your audience will stop listening to what you have to say and start reading your slides instead.
Your goal is to put a few keywords or images in your presentation then use this presentation as an opportunity to have a conversation with your audience.
2) Modify Past Presentations To Deliver the Most Value
If you work for a big company, chances are there’s an existing technical sales presentation that you’re supposed to use. Instead of using the presentation as is, modify it to deliver real value to your prospects.
Remember, a presentation should not be a one-sided conversation. You’re not going to able to pitch effectively if all you’re doing is reading slides and doing all the talking. A presentation should not involve anyone talking straight for 10 to 30 minutes. In sales, your goal should be a meaningful conversation with your prospect or potential customer.
You can even be straightforward with them and tell them – “I do have materials to present and I can put them up on the screen, but before we get into that, I want to talk to you about our capabilities, services, and what we have to offer. More importantly, I want to listen to the issues you have and see how we can help.”
More often than not, the person you’re meeting with will answer with a “Great! I don’t need to see the presentation, I would rather talk.” Sometimes you can summarize all the important information in a few slides and then have a conversation about other details.
3) Don’t Just “Show up and throw up.”
Many technical sales engineers make the mistake of going into a meeting and just “throwing up” information. Before you know it, it’s been 10 to 20 minutes of you talking and you’ve already lost the other person’s attention. Remember, you need to ask questions instead of just giving out information. Take this opportunity to have a real conversation with your potential customers.
There are some instances when you’ll still need to give a traditional presentation. Maybe it’s part of your company practice, your boss asked for one, or the potential client asked you to present to a specific team.
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Slide Presentation Best Practices
4) Include Only a Few Words Per Slide
Try to present a couple of bullet points or key terms then the rest of the information should come directly from you. More than focusing on the information you are presenting, keep in mind that in technical sales, engagement is more important. Make eye contact, talk to your audience, watch their body language. Sometimes, they’re just waiting politely for you to finish your presentation so they can ask questions. Other times, they’ve already forgotten their questions by the time you’re done, which is a bad thing.
So, what should you do? Take a good look at your presentation and make sure that you’re only presenting what’s absolutely necessary. When possible, flash an image or a few words to catch their attention and explain everything else yourself.
5) Limit Each Presentation to 10 – 15 slides
Again, the goal is to limit the information presented on the slides only to what’s essential. Not many people will have the patience to sit through a presentation that’s 20 to 30 slides long. Although long presentations are common in technical sales, it’s better to work with 10 to 15 slides.
Present minimal information and then use most of the time to talk them through your capabilities and what you offer. Then ask them questions. If you don’t ask questions, you may not discover what their needs and problems are and you won’t be able to offer solutions. If what you’re presenting has no relevance to them, they’re not going to engage with you.
6) Have a Unique Deck for Every Industry
If you work with several industries, this is a very important point. You only want to talk about solutions, issues, and ways you can serve them in their particular industry. For example, don’t present something that you made for the financial industry during your meeting with a prospect from the medical industry.
Make sure you have a specific deck for each industry to which you’re presenting. When you’re talking about something relevant to them, then you’ll capture their attention.
Remember that after you’ve met with several prospective clients, you’ll probably notice that they ask the same questions. Take note of these questions and include them in your slides. This way, you can answer them even before they ask and demonstrate that you really know what you’re talking about.
Lastly, remember that technical sales is always 80% sales and people and 20% technical. Even if the product you’re selling is highly technical, the sales and people aspect of the process is still more important than the technical aspect. If your prospect asks you to explain the tech behind your product, go ahead and explain it but don’t make it the focus of the presentation.
The most important thing to remember is that people want to be heard. Conversations are key to building relationships with your prospective clients. Ask questions and don’t present for the sake of presenting. Use this opportunity to get to know a client so you can offer him solutions to his problems and eventually, close that sale.
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