GUEST BLOG: David Crick from Contractors Marketing Services offers his advice on delivering a presentation that seals the deal.
It can take months to follow a project through from initial contact to a first formal meeting. For many marketers, it’s then over to the directors to follow up the enquiry and make a presentation. In a smaller company, you may be doing the sales calls and meeting the client.
Either way, it’s vital to get this stage right – time to make a great impression, demonstrate your strengths, and put yourself into the top spot when the tender comes through.
Let’s look in a bit more detail about how to run a meeting and give a presentation that gets the job done.
First of all, the preparation that you do is going the main factor in whether you succeed or fail. You want to be able to describe yourself and what you’re good at in clear and succinct terms. Be specific about your strengths, and set your company apart – see our previous post on the subject if you’re struggling to think of what makes you distinctive. Look up your audience too. Find out everything you can about who they are, what sort of work they do, and who the key people are. You also want to know the job inside out, so get all the details that you can about the project and what it entails.
As a general rule, I recommend a 10:1 ratio of preparation time to delivery time. Yes, ten hours work for a one hour talk sounds like a lot, but remember what’s at stake. You’re pitching for a valuable contract. More than that – this could be the first job of many from a repeat client. So consider it an investment and take it seriously. And of course once you’ve got your presentation down to a fine art, you can re-use most parts of it again and again, adapting it as you go.
In the course of preparing, ensure that your presentation is going to meet your key objectives. There are four of them to tick off:
If you’re presenting with colleagues, a comprehensive briefing will be important so that everyone knows their role. Then practice. Remind yourselves what you’re bidding for, and go and win it.
If you’re a member of the CIOB, you can read it as part of your continuing professional development.
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