You have invested a great deal of time into preparing a solid business proposal for your project. But when it comes to the presentation phase, how do you grab the attention of the decision makers? How do you present your proposal so that it’s clear and simple while also convincing?
What the Professionals Say
Without an excellent presentation, even the best-laid business proposals are at a disadvantage. The solution may be a winner, but if it’s not communicated well, it won’t gain traction. Presentation requires more than just reading a copy of the proposal text. Think about the best way to introduce your proposal to your audience. If done properly, your presentation will encourage your client to adopt your proposal. (https://www.inc.com/kevin-daum/5-tips-for-giving-really-amazing-presentations.html).
In this post, we talk about the basics for delivering the best presentation so as to increase your chances of walking away with a contract.
Lead With the Need
For you to grab the attention of the client from the onset, immediately pinpoint the business need (or problem) you are trying to solve. Begin by asking yourself, ‘’what message am I trying to pass across? Is there an opportunity the company is overlooking? Does the organization need a new IT system?’’ Clearly articulate this problem as you begin, because no matter how innovative your solution is, you won’t get support if it doesn’t address the client’s challenges. Make sure you also demonstrate how the need aligns with the client’s corporate goals and strategies (https://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/business-proposals.html).
Come up With an Emotional Story
You might be tempted to stick to facts and figures to do the convincing for you, but captivating presenters understand that the best way to hook a client is through a story. The story can be something as simple as outlining a need and a solution, the key is to present it in a clever way. But the more you can slot in an emotional appeal, the stronger and more notable your case will be.
While most clients value data, they are particularly realistic of what data can and cannot do for them. With this in mind, you need to introduce stories first, then data to back it up. Walk into the presentation armed with competitor moves and customer experiences. Your potential client is far more concerned about what their customers are saying and what their competitors are doing than the numbers and figures you’re trying to prove (https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2013/02/22/the-three-basic-secrets-of-all-successful-presentations/#fd061d821385).
Address Audience’s Concerns
How you respond to questions will play a huge role in your failure or success. Often, when someone stumbles through an answer, the audience makes a conclusion that they aren’t sure about what they’re saying. This applies to proposal presentation. If you cannot display confidence, people won’t trust that your recommendation is worthwhile.
Before you do your presentation, think about the likely concerns your prospect may have. The four basic strategies people use to destroy an idea include:
Instead of looking for ways to avoid these attacks, you’ll be better off handling the critiques in a skillful way. Don’t try to marginalize the people who disapprove your solution. Rather, come up with honest, concise responses to every tactic they use. In this way, you develop self-confidence and avoid getting frustrated when they challenge your solution (https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/7-credibility-boosting-phrases-to-include-in-your-next-presentation.html).
Sell Benefits Not Features
Don’t walk into a meeting and immediately start talking about yourself and your company. If you do this, the prospect will focus on cost, often ending the session before you finish your presentation. Instead, focus on selling the benefits first. Your prospect is interested in knowing how they can acquire new customers, how they can retain existing customers and outdo their competitors. So paint a clear vision of how you’re going to help them in the areas that are most important to them. By doing this, you make them more receptive to your solutions and proposal (https://www.inc.com/geoffrey-james/how-to-sell-value-benefits-or-features.html).
A few minutes into the presentation, stop and pose a question to your audience. This is an excellent way to probe for input while allowing everyone to be much more involved in the process (https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/33074). A few questions that you can ask include:
Keep it Short and Simple
Do not try to prove that you know much more than your audience about the business proposal. Focus on one or two critical points and avoid getting stuck on trying to demonstrate how much you know. Remember that your client is busy. He may have other meetings to attend, calls to make or issues to solve. Time is essentially the most precious asset.
So don’t waste time with long talks or massive reading materials. Get to the point in the first minute, preferably. The client may be itching to interrupt you with questions, so address the main points before your presentation is diverted (https://www.forbes.com/sites/work-in-progress/2014/01/28/five-easy-tricks-to-make-your-presentation-interactive/#28769bf976a7).
People who use images in their presentation get more attention. You can quickly add images with the help of ClientPoint Software. Research shows that people absorb 10 percent of everything you tell them, 65 percent if you add a picture. Choose your pictures carefully as too many graphs and charts can bore your audience. Overall, images work best if people can easily relate to them. For instance, if you’re suggesting something to do with human resource, you can incorporate pictures of smiling employees. This may sound simple, but people tend to get drawn to pictures or images showing happiness and contentment (https://www.inc.com/john-treace/5-often-quoted-tips-for-powerful-presentations.html).
Presenting Written Proposals
One of the biggest mistakes people make when introducing a proposal is reading the entire transcript word for word. It is always advisable to summarize the key points as you take the audience through the proposal. If you are presenting the proposal on a laptop or tablet, make sure everyone can view the screen. In the end, allow some time for questions. You might also want to send them the proposal beforehand so that they can get a chance to analyze it and prepare questions.
Presenting Proposals Digitally
Even though it is always advisable to submit your proposal face-to-face, sometimes it may not be possible, especially if your prospective client lives in another country. In this case, you can send your proposal and follow it up with a conference call or a phone call. ClientPoint Software allows you to design your proposal in a way that the prospect can follow the presentation on their own computer just like they would on any slide show. This makes it easy for them to grasp the entire proposal as presented digitally.
Presenting to an Individual or a Small Group
If you are presenting your proposal to an individual or a small group, a simple proposal will do. If your project is more complicated, you can use ClientPoint Software to make the presentation easy to understand. Since the audience will be only a few people, you may have to sit alongside them to build rapport. Position yourself in a way that everyone can view the laptop screen. Be ready to answer any questions without hesitation.
Presenting to a Large Group
If you have to present your proposal to a large group, the same rules apply as when you are presenting to a small group. Use the same structure, but rehearse your presentation so you can grasp it inside out. This may seem given, but the better your audience knows the main talking points, the more confident you will be when presenting. Do not provide them with the proposal in advance, give it to them after the presentation. Otherwise, you may consider giving them a handout outlining the main talking points so that they can follow as you present.
If you really want your business proposals, quotes and contracts to stand out and give you the best chance at winning new clients, use ClientPoint Software. It makes creating and formatting professional business proposals, quotes, and contracts fast and easy. Click here to schedule a free demo of ClientPoint Software or call us at 888-972-7375.