Your Sales Presentation’s Second Act: Follow-up Strong
July 27, 2011, Presentation Delivery, Presentation Development
It’s the day of your big presentation. You have been trying to schedule a sales meeting with a potentially large client for several months, and now is your chance to show them why their decision to meet with you was the right one (and perhaps, show them that their decision is overdue). You have been working on your presentation for weeks, and are confident that you have crafted the right message and used the most appropriate visuals to support your message. All the right tools are in place and you’ve practiced to perfection. After you finish your presentation, you breathe a sigh of relief after a smooth delivery and are greeted with a round of applause and an effortless Q&A session. How much better could it get, right? Your presentation was a triumph; you successfully conveyed that your product is the right solution to their problem. Unfortunately, your presentation is only one part of your sales process and it does not necessarily guarantee results.
At the time of the presentation, it’s much easier for the audience to follow along with the points that you are making because you are guiding them through the thought process and using visual aids to help connect the dots. Never assume that the audience has this understanding committed to memory. At the end of your presentation, you present a call to action. Be clear about your objectives, but never assume that they are willing to act upon it. When you finish your presentation, you are actually not done. Always assume that you need to follow-up.
You should put as much time into your follow-up preparation as you put into your presentation. Set a schedule for multiple contacts – perhaps after 24 hours, 2 days, 5 days then 10 days – and stick to it. Prepare the content of your follow-ups – this can take many forms, but it should always reinforce your original message.
Here are a few follow-up ideas:
- Email the deck that you used during the meeting and schedule a call with your prospect to answer any questions that have come up since the meeting.
- Set up a string of automated emails, each focusing on one of your key points, and use supporting resources to reinforce your message.
- Create a series of videos and email them to your audience members. The videos can be embedded in a Dynamic PDF and attached to your email, or you could host the videos on your website and link to them.
- Create an electronic brochure, complete with a product animation and a testimonial video from one of your customers and send via email. Rich media such as Flash and video can be embedded in a Dynamic PDF and designed with surrounding text and images.
Following up to your presentation is by far one of the greatest factors in determining success. Even if your in-person presentation was exceptional, a lack of follow-through will cause momentum to subside that is very difficult to regain. The worst that could happen is that after you have introduced your product as the right solution, the prospect selects your competition because you didn’t reach out to them.
Examine your own follow-up strategy. Do you have a schedule in place? Have you developed engaging materials that reinforce your presentation’s message and persuade the audience members to take the next step? Your sales presentation’s second act, your follow-up, should be as compelling as the first.