If you want your business to succeed, you have to master the art of the sales presentation. Regardless of whether you’re presenting to a prospect who walks into your store or negotiating a complex deal with a large customer, it’s important to understand the different kinds of sales presentations so you use the right one for the task.

Informal Sales Presentations

Informal sales presentations are often unscheduled and happen as a result of the circumstances. To prepare for these kinds of impromptu presentations, it’s critical to have a good handle on the benefits of your products or service and how you solve the problem your prospect is having.

In under two minutes, you need to be able to introduce your business, discuss the challenges your customer is facing and offer your business as the solution. More importantly, you need to be able to build trust and credibility so the prospect will want to engage with you further.

Types of Informal Sales Presentations

Informal types of sales presentations include:

  • Elevator pitches: This is where you make contact with a prospect and have just a few minutes to discuss your offerings. These can take place at your business or at a conference, social event or unrelated business meeting. The key is to always be prepared to pitch.

  • Cold calling: In some businesses, you can call potential prospects and ask for a few minutes of their time to discuss your business opportunity. These days, not many people are interested in speaking with sales representatives over the phone, so you have to present your business in a captivating way right at the start of the call.

  • Cold emailing: Many businesses choose to email cold prospects instead of calling them. Be sure to use a really catchy subject line so the prospect is interested in actually reading your email. Otherwise, it will just get deleted.

Formal Sales Presentations

Unlike impromptu sales presentations, a formal sales presentation is prearranged so that both parties are expecting it. This kind of sales presentation method is more common in business-to-business industries rather than business-to-consumer industries.

Formal sales presentations typically include some kind of multimedia aspect, such as a slide deck, videos, graphics or handouts. These meetings can range from 30 minutes to a few hours in length, so it’s imperative to share content that keeps your prospects engaged.

Formal sales presentations can be done in person, over the phone or through video conferencing. Your business should prepare a script of talking points to cover so you use your time wisely and stay on course. Be sure to anticipate the kinds of questions your prospects may ask so that you can provide meaningful and conversion-oriented answers.

Group Sales Presentations

Another one of the common modes of sales presentation is one that takes place in a group format. In this case, the business presents to a number of individual prospects. This type of sales presentation method is common in both business-to-business and business-to-consumer models. Because you’re speaking to a number of prospects, it’s critical to bring up any common objections they may have and speak to how your business overcomes them.

When selling to other businesses, organizations often use webinars or seminars. Webinars are a great way to share key information in a short amount of time without requiring the prospect to leave his desk. Seminars require more time from the prospects, so it’s imperative to provide them with content that is of value to them.

When selling to consumers, sales meetings can take place at the business, at a market or even in someone’s home. Consider direct sales reps who host parties to sell items such as makeup and Tupperware – this is a form of a group sales presentation.

What Your Sales Presentation Process Should Always Include

Regardless of what kind of sales presentation you’re giving, it’s important to focus your content on the audience. Don’t begin by talking about your business. Instead, start by focusing on the problems your prospects are facing. Then, introduce the solution to the problem, which can be the products and services you offer. Craft an engaging story around the problem and your solution rather than just focusing on your offerings.