The Art of Presentation and Demonstration

sales performance
The challenge most sales people have when it comes to presentation and demonstration is being prepared ahead of time. I contend that the worst time to think of something is as it comes out of your mouth. Is your team winging it when it comes to presentations, or did they take the time to practice beforethe demo? Let me answer that: Many sales people skip the practice because they have been doing it for a long time. Instead, they’re just going to make it up as they go. Is this ever a good idea?
Note the picture that I’ve attached to this article. My family and I had dinner the other night at a Japanese hibachi restaurant. Our chef was all about cooking. But even more so, he was about entertainment. This is an ideal demonstration and presentation. It represents countless hours of practice and plenty of preparation. The payoff is a truly breathtaking experience. Sure, the food is good, but the sheer spectacle of the show is what makes it memorable.
How do you teach your staff to create sales presentations more appealing than your mother’s Christmas dinner table? Start by sitting down with staff members and asking them to show you the entire presentation that they share with a prospective client. More than likely, it will be a one-sheet template that they show to all prospects. Maybe they’ll go a step further and show you a PowerPoint deck that they just happened to “customize” with the prospect’s company logo. We need to do better than this.
Do your presentations have the flair of a Japanese steak house or a drive-thru fast food chain?
Before you have this meeting with your employees, invest the time and money to have dinner at a local teriyaki-style Japanese cooking restaurant. Again, the key is not so much the food but the presentation. The chef prepares and cooks the food at a grill right in front of you. With a maestro’s upswing he adds oil to the grill and commences a rapid, fiery, high-flying show that results in a masterful mix of seafood, chicken, steak, rice and vegetables. The spinning egg trick and the shrimp tossed into your dining partner’s mouth are the icing on the cake.  The presentation exhilarates and satisfies every time! Do your presentations have the flair of a Japanese steak house or a drive-thru fast food chain?
One of my clients writes commercial jingles for a living. He has a long list of clients including Glade air fresheners, McDonald’s and Heinz ketchup. I noticed during his presentations to attract new clients that he would put in a thumb drive, turn up jingles created for previous clients and hope the prospect would be dazzled enough to buy. He’s had good success, but I asked him to consider playing the guitar and singing the jingle live. His success rate has increased. So far, 100% of his live presentations have resulted in a sale. If your business needed a marketing jingle and my music man were to visit, break out the guitar and sing your new custom song, would you take notice? Now, that’s a presentation that will make the sale!
I once brought an entire marching band to a presentation. It certainly grabbed the owner’s attention. Perhaps more importantly, it rallied the sales team to buy into the proposal as well.
Ask yourself before each presentation you make, “How will my competition make this same pitch? How can I make this proposal different? How can I make it truly memorable?”
In this day when audio and video tools are available at your fingertips, you should, at the very least, be playing video or audio testimonials. If you’re in the real estate business, how about hiring someone to set up a lemonade stand, a trampoline and some kids at your next open house?  During your presentation ask the prospective home buyer, “What do you want to see out of your kitchen window?”  If you’re in the auto sales business, sales trainer Joe Verde says that 99% of the people who walk on your lot want to test drive a car. However, fewer than 6 out of 10 get to test drive one. What if you drove the new car to that person’s home and left it there for the weekend?
Make 2019 a year to remember with truly unforgettable presentations.