Closing a Sale Through a Successful PowerPoint Presentation

Presentations are the way many products and services are sold. The effectiveness of your presentation determines your success. Yes, you also need to find a lead, set an appointment and follow-up, but the presentation is key.

Below are some thoughts about the components of a successful sales presentation:

You have the solution to your potential customer’s problem. If you can’t meet your potential customer’s need, you can give the greatest presentation, but you probably won’t get the sale. Of course, it isn’t ethical to con him/her into thinking you have a solution when you don’t. You clearly explain how your offering can solve the problem of your potential customer If you don’t explain clearly, you may have a solution, but you won’t get far. This is why presentation preparation is so important. When you prepare, check that your message is organized and clear. State the problem simply and completely, based on questions you asked earlier or o questions you ask during the presentation. Then show how your product or service can solve your potential customer’s needs.

Be sure to provide supporting data to validate your solution. Even with a great solution, how do you ensure that people believe you? This is the important art of persuasion. As you show your solution, you must connect all that you say to their problem and back it up with both hard — facts and figures – and soft data — testimonials, your experience, and current customer names they might know., Be sure to convey how your solution will make them feel. Relieved? Less stressed out? Happy to reduce costs or increase profit? A positive emotion is a requirement for making a decision.

Your visuals are clear. Your slides must be crystal clear. Did you know that people can’t read and listen at the same time? So, if you use slides full of text, they’ll read them while you’re talking and won’t hear what you’re saying-that isn’t clear communication! Diagrams and charts should be easy to understand and not contain irrelevant content. If you have to provide highly detailed data in a spreadsheet, have a handout so your audience can follow along easily. Don’t provide unnecessary data during the presentation. Instead, leave supplemental content as a handout, if your potential client wants to review it before making a decision. Make sure that all text is legible and use animation only if shows a process. Use only high-quality photos and. avoid loud backgrounds. Put one point on a slide and backs up that point with a photo, diagram, or chart-this is called the Tell ‘n’ Show Method.

You connect with your audience. Think of your presentation as a two-way conversation, especially if you are speaking to a small group. Meet their eyes, ask and answer questions, be friendly and natural-think of it as an interactive presentation. Your potential customer will buy from you as a person not a presenter.

Transformational Speaking and the Four Bones of a Masterful Presentation

Cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien, author of The Four-Fold Way, teaches there are four bones to which we must pay attention if we are to remain fully present in our lives. As in life, so it is in speaking! Use these four bones of professional speaking to ensure your presentation is masterful.

1. The wishbone. This is where our vision resides, the place of dreaming and re-dreaming so that we live the life we came to live. When you’re developing your presentation, what is the vision you hold of what is possible because you choose to show up? A transformational speech begins with knowing the new story you want people to embrace and act upon. So exercise your wishbone as your very first step to a transformational speech. What is the outcome you wish for that makes all the energy of preparing and delivering a presentation worthwhile?

2. The backbone. Taking action in support of our dreams requires courage and strength. The call to action you put forth in your speaking is the backbone–it first represents your own backbone, the bravery to ask for something worthy of a better story. Then you call forth the backbone of the audience when you challenge them to leave the room with a commitment to a personal step toward an action that will make the new story possible. Just one step; ask them for that without apology or equivocation.

3. The funny bone. It is said that laughter is the shortest distance between two people. It is perennial wisdom in professional speaking circles that, “You don’t have to be funny to speak; only to get paid for it!” Forge your own brand of humor–without telling jokes–and be sure to include it in your speaking.

4. The hollow little bone. This bone is likely the most challenging for a speaker who needs a strong ego to show up in the first place–and then get out of the way. To be a “hollow bone” requires that we acknowledge our doubts and fears and reluctance and do the work to heal the personal wounds that cause us to question our callings and capacities. Only then can we be “hollow” enough to make room for something more powerful than a carefully crafted speech to flow through us and out to others. When we recognize that ultimately our speaking is in support of our message and not about us, we open the hollow bone to hope and possibility and to receive grand support for a worthy mission. We experience an energetic surge when the hollow little bone is an open channel for truth to be spoken in the moment.

When your wishbone, your backbone, your funny bone, and the hollow little bone are acknowledged and expressed, you’re well on your way to presenting the speech you were born to give to the audience you are destined to serve. To be a transformational speaker, remember the Four Bones!

© Gail Larsen 2010. All rights reserved. Real Speaking is a registered trademark. Permission to reprint: You may reprint this article in your own print or electronic newsletter. Please include the following statement: Reprinted from “Real Speaking” a free e-letter by Gail Larsen featuring insights and ideas to enhance your public speaking and communications.

What You Should Know Before Entering the Lion’s Den of Vacation Ownership-Timeshare Presentations

We have all seen the pop up ads that seem to scream out “Congratulations….you are today’s lucky recipient of a 5 day/4 night Luxury Cancun Vacation or a Caribbean Dream Cruise…” Or you may have received that automated phone call informing you that you have won that all inclusive vacation in Florida. Before you impulsively click on the box or call that 1-800 number you need to realize that these are promotions to solicit sales of either a timeshare or vacation ownership package.

We are inundated daily with telemarketers, pop up ads, unsolicited e-mails and fliers in the mail. Most of the time we either delete them from our computer or throw them out.

However, think about it for a moment. Wouldn’t you like to go on that cruise or lay around at some posh resort soaking in the sun? You may want to reconsider for a moment that at $199 that cruise does seem appealing, right? The cost does not include your flights, taxes and other costs to take this vacation, but still you can get a good deal and have a great time at a fraction of the cost you would spend if you booked the vacation or cruise through an online travel agency. Here are a few tips that will help you escape unscathed as you enter the Lion’s Den of Timeshare and Vacation Ownership Presentations.

The first thing you need to do as a couple is to ask yourselves some pertinent questions about what you plan to do and where to go for the next five to ten years. Dream a little and be adventuresome with your ideas. Most important, be honest and realistic. If you like to camp, boat, go on tours, ski, go on safaris, etc. as part of your vacation mix, then staying at a resort and laying on a beach in the sun may seem a bit boring, and not part of your lifestyle. Or you may like to stay at a resort once every two years instead of every year, and go camping, fishing or hiking on the alternate years. It is up to you to formulate a vacation plan that suits you best and stick with it. Calculate what you approximately spend on your vacation each year. You may have kept your charge card receipts from previous years. Get a rough estimate on travel, food, lodging and special events. This is important to know as you will be asked what you typically spend on your vacation each year. Armed with those figures head of time will help you make and informed decision whether a timeshare or vacation ownership package is a wise choice for you or not.

Secondly, because timeshares and vacation ownership properties can be willed to your children, consider what your children enjoy doing on their vacations. Your son or daughter may prefer to go white water rafting on the Colorado River, hike the Chilkoot trail in the Yukon or rough it in India rather than soak up rays in Cancun, Mexico. Then again, they may have similar interests to you and would love to enjoy a week in a resort. Discuss your intentions with your children before you go on your trip, rather than surprise them with the news that you had purchased a timeshare package, after you get back.

Once you get to your destination you will check into the ubiquitous ‘Welcome Center’. This is the hub of the Lion’s Den of Timeshare/Vacation Ownership sales presentations. It is here that you register for your presentation and pick up your room keys. You may be required to leave a deposit or credit card imprint. This is to ensure that you will show up for the presentation meeting. Don’t worry, you will get your money back after the presentation and they most likely will give you a gift as an incentive for attending the presentation, such as an additional night’s stay, theme part tickets, clothing, wine or money.

The next day at the Welcome Center you will be ushered to a waiting area to sit with dozens of other tourists. Coffee, doughnuts and other goodies will be served while you wait for your presenter to come and get you.

Once you meet your presenter it is imperative that you confirm the time limit on the presentation. If the company has stated that the presentation will take no more than 90 minutes, then establish that you will allow an additional half hour to run overtime. That is fair. It is very easy to get bogged down in three or four hour presentations or longer. Be firm, but polite and stick by your guns but letting the presenter know how much time they have left.

After the initial interview you will be taken on a tour of a typical two or three bedroom unit. You will be pleasantly surprised by the quality of the units. Timeshares have come a long way from what they were even ten years ago. The figures will be scribbled on a sheet of lined foolscap paper. The deal for today, they will say will include the first year of maintenance fees which includes the first year membership in one of the two major timeshare trading companies, either II (Interval International) or RCI (Resorts Condominiums International). You will be left alone to discuss the proposal. If you have done your homework you will know if this deal is for you, but wait, there will be other deals.

The Salesperson will return and if the two of you have decided that the deal is not for you, the salesperson will bring the boss to reiterate the deal. Then they will offer you a one bedroom unit with perhaps the same options as the first deal. You will be left alone a second time to talk it over. If you still have decided against the proposal, then a third option is offered, most likely a studio unit (bedroom, kitchen and eating area in one room). They will apply pressure for you to make a decision to buy. Again, if the proposal is still not right for you and your family, go with your gut feeling and say no. However, if this is the unit you want and it is in the resort community you prefer, and meets your financial terms, then go for it.

Before you make your decision, I recommend that you do a lot of research by checking out timeshares and vacation ownership properties on the internet. You will discover that prices may vary depending on the quality of the units being offered and the resort location. If you and your family like theme parks, then purchasing a unit near Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World, etc. may be your best bet. While others may be more interested in purchasing a timeshare near wonderful golf courses, or world class ski resorts. Take your time before you choose your unit and consult others who have purchased a unit in a community you are considering. Find out if they like their unit and the recreational facilities and other amenities in their community. If they offer positive feedback then you may consider purchasing a property.

For comparison here are some typical figures the salesperson may get thrown at you. For a two-bedroom unit with two weeks of regular time each year and two additional bonus weeks added when purchasing the unit may sell for $15,000 with legal closing costs of $525 and $150 in taxes. The maintenance costs which covers property upkeep, insurance, taxes and refurbishing costs, new appliances, etc. are $500 per year. Resort Condominiums International (RCI) or Interval International (II) can trade your week at your resort for another week at another resort from over 5000 resorts combined around the world. Depending whether you have purchased a peak season high demand week (red), mid season (white for RCI or yellow/amber for II) or low demand (blue for RCI or green for II), your annual fees may be approximately $90 per year. For a two-bedroom unit for two weeks (one week added during the purchase year) every second year (E.O.Y.) was selling for about $10,000 with $350 in closing costs, $500 E.O.Y. maintenance costs and $150 E.O.Y. for taxes. These figures are an approximation and are provided to offer you some insight as to what these units cost and maintain. I urge you to check out some websites and compare their unit costs.

Similar to any important financial decision you make, get the best terms when you buy. Your decision to buy a timeshare or vacation ownership property can affect you and your family well into the future. If you decide to sell your unit several years down the road, you may find that will be selling your unit at a loss, and may not even recoup your initial investment. From my experience I have found that buying a timeshare or vacation ownership property should not be considered as a money making investment, but rather as an investment in your planned future quality vacation time. Honestly, this investment has far greater value beyond its’ ‘real estate value.’

To buy or not to buy, the decision is ultimately yours to make. When you make that phone call or click that mouse to try one on for size, at least you will get a taste of what it is like to experience the timeshare or vacation ownership lifestyle. Take the plunge, try it on for size.