3 ways power point helps me on a sales call

Whenever I write a blog on power point I receive a percentage of comments that are some variation of “Why even bother with power point? A real sales person shouldn’t need slides!”

While I admit that power point is an overused tool, I disagree that it should be dismissed all together. In fact, one of the greatest salesman of our time, Steve Jobs, felt that mastering power point was critical to his success. So, in defense of power point here are three ways that slides help me time and again on my sales calls.

Quotes. This came in handy for me just last week. I read something Jeffrey Gittomer wrote about the importance of client testimonials in the sales process. So I reached out to some of my best clients and gathered together some quotes about how happy they were with my company’s service. I then put each quote, along with the client’s name, title and company logo, on a power point slide. On Friday morning, just as I was finishing up a system demo for a prospect they asked if I might be able to provide some references. “How about right now” I replied. I opened up power point and walked them through the slides with quotes from recognizable clients saying how happy they were with the system and service we’d been discussing.

Charts. Part of my company’s value add includes our annual reviews. We sit down with clients, at least once a year, to review the program and all the vital data (spend, inventory value, orders by cost center, etc). At some point in a sales presentation or conversation I will show the prospect example slides from actual reviews and explain how we help them track and measure key metrics related to the program. I have found that sharing with prospects the actual slides and charts from a real review makes a significant impression.

Persuasion.  Multiple studies have shown that relevant images will improve your ability to persuade your audience (Morgan & Reichart 1999, Vogel 1986, Mick 2003). This should not surprise us. We are all attracted to interesting and well designed images and as the old saying goes “seeing is believing.” In fact, neurologist John Medina teaches that you will improve the ability of your audience to recall the information you give them by six times if you support your oral presentation with strong visuals.

Of course, all of the above hinges on slides that are well designed (for more on that read here) but if your slides are effective they will give you a competitive edge. And that’s how power point can help you on your next sales call.

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