Web meetings are a fantastic tool for delivering sales presentations. Web meeting providers (GoTo Meeting, WebEx, Windows Live Meeting, Adobe Connect, etc.) are eager to point out their benefits, such as:
- Not having to be there in person – saving travel costs and time.
- Customers more likely to participate instead of taking the time for a face-to-face presentation.
- Present to many people in different locations – avoiding scheduling nightmares.
- Easy sharing of PowerPoint sales decks, software demos, videos, web pages, etc.
Web Presentations bring New ChallengesDelivering sales presentations over the web is one of the hardest things to do well. Why? Click To Tweet
- You can’t see your customers’ facial expressions or body language.
- It’s easy to lose your customers’ attention as they multi-task, answering text messages and email.
- You must become proficient in new technical competencies and learn new showtime skills.
On the Road to Great Presentations
There is no one answer to sales presentation greatness.
I believe you get there by doing as many things right as possible. Practicing as much as possible. Learning from others, as well as your greatest teacher – experience – as much as possible.
With this humbly in mind, consider trying the following tips. I hope a few may become part of your greatness.
23 Tips to Great Sales Presentations via Web Meetings
For clarity’s sake these tips are grouped into chronologically ordered groups:
- Technological Preparation Tips
- Sales Preparation Tips
- Immediately Before the Presentation
- At the Beginning of the Presentation
- During the Presentation
Technological Preparation Tips
Perform these in advance of the presentation date – otherwise it’s too late.
1. If using a customer’s web service (not one you are 150% comfortable with) be sure to:
- Practice/test session the day before to sort everything out
- Get extremely comfortable with these functions on a customers’ web service: PAUSE, SHOW, SHARE, MUTE, CHAT
2. If using a web service customers aren’t familiar with, be sure to:
- Ask a kind admin to test for compatibility with your web service before the scheduled date
- Prepare to start 5-10 minutes later than scheduled as the customer may struggle with logging in for the first time
3. Use a 2nd PC in your office and log in to a test session. Set your PC’s display to 1024 x 768 resolution, and then view your slideshow on the 2nd PC, paying attention to:
- Slide transitions, animations or builds taking too long
- Photos’ & graphics’ clarity
- Font size isn’t too small
- Correct the above as needed
4. Use a USB headset with mic when available from web service (this is VoIP audio rather than a phone line)
- Headset with mic frees your hands and minimizes ambient noise, such as hitting keyboard keys loudly
- Avoid using your PC/Laptop’s built in mic, which provides poor audio for your customers
5. Consider adding the audio conference call info to your title / walk-in slide (NOTE: some web services display that info anyway before switching over to showing your screen).
Sales Preparation Tips
6. Plan a Sales Path and/or Scenario to follow during presentation:
- If you’re demo’ing an application – have several likely use scenarios and then walk customers through them (it’s much better than trying to show the 1,000s of bells and whistles the app can do)
- If you’re presenting for a sale decision at the end of the presentation – have a flexible path planned out for hitting only the most valuable points of your proposal (valuable to the customer that is) – these are the “vital few” points, not the “useful many”.
7. Write down an outline of your opening and closing statements, focusing on how you’ll solve the customer’s specific problems and deliver their desired outcomes.
- Outline in short bullets
- Practice in your own words
8.Plan an alternate quick ending, this is for the times your customers waste 10-15 minutes logging into your web service. Just make your content 10-15 minutes shorter than the allotted time (if you get done early no one will complain).
9. Rehearse (period) Rehearse (period) Rehearse (period)
Immediately Before the Presentation
10. Set your PC’s display resolution to 1024 x 768 to minimize the chance that not all of your screen will show up on the customers screen.
11. Turn off your cell phone, or mute it and move it away from your PC to avoid interference.
12. Turn off your email and IM notifications so they don’t pop up in the middle of the presentation.
13. Mute or unplug phone land lines.
14. Mute your PC’s sounds.
15. Run your PowerPoint deck from your local PC, don’t run it from a network drive as oddities with your network can create a really bad day for you.
16. If you’ll be launching other applications or web pages, launch them before and have them open.
17. Use a 2nd PC in your office to log in to the session.
- You’ll be able to see what your customers are seeing and deals with the video delay during transmission
- You don’t want to be talking about slide 4 when they’re still looking at slide 3
18. Have a printout of your presentation deck complete with your speaker’s notes, helps steady your nerves, and if the web service goes down and you still have audio you can complete the presentation as an audio only.
19. Have a mug of something hot, or glass of water near to combat dry throat.
At the Beginning of the Presentation
20. After introducing yourself, clear the meeting for time by confirming with your customers that the presentation will last 60 minutes and complete by 10:30 am (you don’t want any surprises).
21. If using a web service customers aren’t familiar with, spend a minute on how to use the web service controls immediately after clearing for time but before starting the presentation. Quickly tell them:
- How to minimize the web service console so they can see more of your slideshow on screen
- How to enter a CHAT message
22. If audience is less than 10 or 15, tell them they can ask you questions as they occur to them (you want their engagement from the start)
- If more than 15 customers, request they ask their questions using the CHAT function (keeps the racket down when they step on each other)
During the Presentation
23. Switch from your PowerPoint deck to open applications through a hyperlink on the slide, or hit ALT + TAB (in Windows) to toggle through the open applications in Windows.
What’s Not Listed?
What tips do you know that help make great live sales presentations on the web? Share them by posting a comment.
If you liked this article please re-tweet it.