Final Presentation Success

Thursday, July 14th, 2011 0 comments

Final-Presentation-SuccessFor anybody who has ever faced the disappointment of losing a deal after delivering a final presentation, an interesting poll from Fundfire:

why-do-managers-lose-in-finals

This rather unscientific survey of FundFire readers (so, from within the financial sector), reveals that over 60% of respondents think that the main reason for losing at final presentation stage is lack of differentiation. A further 15% put failure down to sales team interaction (or complete absence thereof) at the finals presentation. These numbers indicate that fund managers think that a poor presentation is a far more common cause of sales failure than poor fund performance. Communication trumps product for sales success. Which begs the question: Why do so many investment funds – and let’s face it, others – fail to differentiate at a final presentation? Could it be that although presenters know that what they are doing isn’t great, they aren’t sure what they could do differently?

Bring in Fresh Eyes

It can be exceedingly difficult to see things in a fresh light when dealing with them every day. Bringing in fresh eyes – from elsewhere in your business or an external agency – can be a great way to uncover new ways of telling your story.

Craft a Unique Value Proposition

One of the things many companies find the most difficult at the end of the sales cycle is differentiating their message. At m62 we are often told by our clients that they have little that makes them different, and  that everyone is essentially the same in their industry. Most of the time, this isn’t true. Differences in size, strategy, delivery mechanism, wrap-around services, approach, or even in seemingly minor features – can be examined and found to have significant implications for clients.

Offer What the Client Wants, Believably

Sometimes – particularly where the buyer sets out clear criteria for bidders to meet – having a unique value proposition is difficult. Here, those pitching are assessed on their ability to deliver the benefits the buyer is looking for. Thinking clearly around differences in process, philosophy, access to technology (the how); and about relevant case studies, reviews, and testimonials can deliver an edge to those delivering final presentations.

Presentation Visuals

Most presentations are awful. With bullet points to read, audiences ignore the presenter, or listen to the presenter but ignore the slides. (We can’t do both – just think about trying to read a book while somebody talks to you.) If presenting in a beauty parade of companies making the same presentation mistakes, presenting differently can make a huge difference. Even when companies do identify unique messages, failure to communicate clearly means these are obscured. Want to avoid lack of differentiation with your final presentation? Avoid bullet points and deliver something engaging instead.

Presentation Delivery

Some presenters deliver slides – even at best & final presentation stage – as if they  have only just seen them for the first time. In some cases, this is because they have. Bullet-points don’t exactly demand rehearsal, as they can simply be read aloud. This might seem like a benefit – but for audiences the effects can be dreadful. Even when bid teams do rehearse, significant areas are often overlooked. By practicing not just presentation delivery, but also speaker handover, fielding questions, and even introductions – a team can appear cohesive and professional. Here, coaching can be the difference between success and failure. A great way to differentiate, and to avoid the second highest reason given for failure – sales teams not interacting well with the prospect.

Summary

Want to avoid failure? Learn to differentiate clearly by presenting the right messages in a way that stands out. The best way to succeed at a final presentation is to work with m62 – for help from messaging to slides to delivery.

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