204: The Killer Presentation Format | Master Sales Series

Ready to close more deals and deliver more value in your presentations?

This week on the Master Sales Series, George shares his 5 piece presentation format that has been cultivating over the past 5 years in the digital sales space.



The Killer Presentation Format

One of the questions that I get asked all the time is, “What is the perfect presentation to sell to people in the local space? What does it look like? Is there one format for a presentation that wins?” And we have it. It’s a killer presentation format that is based around a sales process that has been percolating over the last five years in the space. And in fact, I’ll tell you a story in a few moments where it’s been percolating since 1988. Sixty percent of the time, this proposal works a 100% of the time. A little bit of “Anchorman” humor for you.

You gotta have insights on the customer. You need to be an insights-based salesperson. And the only way that you get insights is by doing a needs analysis, and that needs analysis isn’t once, it’s always happening where you’re discovering what the needs of the client are. Then you have to develop a strategy. And that strategy needs to tie to those insights, and it needs to come from you being a local expert and having the tools and the research at you’re avail to come up with a customized strategy. Then you have to measure performance. It really is one of the key components to getting retention. Don’t be afraid to show the KPIs. Then the tactics and the recommendations, you’re gonna have a bunch of them to solve the problems, but you really wanna hone in on one key component. And we’ll get to that in a moment. Plus, there’s a final piece, and that is having the resources there for the people that may be detail-oriented, that really aren’t hooked on your sales presentation. They wanna dig into it deeper. You need to have those resources inside the pitch. So it really is five components that make up the killer presentation that’s winning on the street today, and we’re gonna get to that in a moment on the “Conquer Local” Master Sales Series.

So I remember, you know, 1988, when I started in the radio business, I had the privilege of working for a gentleman named Jim Blundell, and Jim Blundell is a very famous executive in the Canadian radio business. Not to be confused with his son Dean Blundell, who is a very famous shock jock that worked in the Toronto marketplace. Dean and I worked together in Rosetown. So I could tell you some stories about that, but I digress. Let’s get to Jim, his dad.

I remember Jim, you know…I actually credit him with teaching me a lot about being a salesperson at a very young age and he had this thing called the Fullwell Sales System, and what the Fullwell Sales System was…and he has trained this…I would love to get the number and if we could track him down, we should get him as a guest on the podcast. I’m looking at producer, Josh. We should do that. But Jim has trained thousands of sales people in the Canadian radio business, but what…if you really look at what the Fullwell Sales System was, radio was sold with a rep walking into the client with a one-sheeter saying, “Buy my stuff.” And what Jim started to teach was a needs analysis in 1988 with the Fullwell Sales System. And what that needs analysis was, the rep would sit down and start to build a relationship with the client and find out more about how the business was operating from a marketing standpoint, and then come back with a proposal that wasn’t just all about radio. It was about marketing the business better. Really, it really sounds like becoming the trusted local expert all the way back in 1988.

So when I look at this killer presentation format, it’s a little longer than formats that I’ve used in the past, but it really follows some of those same items that came from way back in the day. So let’s walk through it. But let me just say one thing. There are people that actually do this as a sales process, and then there are thousands of people that pay lip service, when they say, “Yeah, I’m a consultant.” They’re not a bloody consultant. They’re just walking in there trying to hawk the stuff that they have to sell and they don’t really care about the results at the end of the day. You have to go into it with a true consultant mindset. It’s like landing a plane. If you look at the ground when you land the plane, you’ll crash it every time, but if you look at the horizon and the horizon in this instance is making your customer successful, and if they’re successful, they’ll just buy more of your marketing because they’ve got more revenue coming into their organization to do so. That’s what I mean by this. It’s not about the sale today. It’s about looking at the horizon of building a relationship with a customer where they trust you and you can put things in there that make sense to help that business market itself. So let’s get into the format of the presentation, and the format of the presentation isn’t the words on the paper, it’s the process that we’re gonna follow.

1. Insights

First off, you’ve gotta do a needs analysis. And the needs analysis is not sitting under…you know, we are actually recording this podcast and we’re doing some video work, and there are some very hot lights in here, and I’ve been on sales calls where I see sales people interrogating their client, asking a ton of freaking questions to them that are quite frankly stupid. Like, “What are your hours of operation? How long have you been in business?” Just go online and figure that stuff out. The question should be, “In the 30 years that you’ve been in business, what is the thing that’s made you successful? What is something that if I asked a customer that’s been shopping with you for 30 years they would say, ‘This is the reason why I come to this business.'” Now that’s way different than saying, “How many years have you been in business?” It’s a stupid question. It’s a rookie move. You’ve heard me talk about it before. I’m very passionate about it.

What you need to get is the insights on how you can help the customer and you know what’s okay? You know what actually is a win? Saying to the client, “I actually can’t help you. There isn’t anything that I’m offering that can help you with your business.” That is fine, too, because trying to fit a square peg into a round hole is a super frustrating thing. It usually leads to expectations that aren’t hit. You’re gonna get churn and it’s gonna hurt your reputation. And guess what happens when you get a bad reputation? People go on to this bloody thing, your phone and they leave you a negative review and it hurts your brand. So you wanna make sure that you’re hitting the mark, and by doing a proper needs analysis, you can get the insights as to whether you can solve the problem for that customer or not. So insights is the number one piece to the presentation.

“When we sat down the other day, Mister Prospect, you told me that the current state of your business was X, Y and Z. Is that correct? Did I hear you correctly?” “You bet. You nailed it, George.” Number two, you outlined these three objectives. If you were to get these objectives that would really help you in the next quarter. Yeah, you know, that…especially number two. That’s the really important one for me. Number two, you really nailed that. And then number three. Here’s where we wanna be in 90 days, 6 months or a year. Whatever that desired state is down the road and what you’re doing…and you hear me joke about this, but I’m not joking this time. You wanna tell the truth in advance. You wanna tell the customer, “If we do these things, here’s where I’m going to get you. This is what I’m going to achieve for you.” And maybe not, “What I’m going to do for you.” What you could say is, “Here’s what we’re going to do together.” Make it a teamwork thing, where, “If we work together on this I really believe that you can get to the desired state that you want.” Whoa, boom. That’s, you know, that whole teamwork thing and it really builds that loyalty with the customer.

Clearly lay out the goals that the client is trying to achieve. Put them there in black and white. And then reaffirm them because, keep in mind, we’ve talked about this before on this Master Sales Series. Communication isn’t just one person talking. It’s making sure that the message that was communicated is received properly. And there’s all sorts of crossed wires and cross communication that can happen, so you wanna make sure that what they said in the needs analysis was understood properly. And that’s where you lay those goals out. And then what you wanna do is start to talk about the strategy.

2. Strategy

And this is the piece that really separates a trusted local expert from another sales person. So you’ve got products and they’ve got great features and they’re able to do great things, but strategy is all about how you’re going to put those products to work to solve the needs of the customer. I don’t know if the strategy changes too much because what we’re all trying to sell in local digital marketing and that’s why you’ve subscribed to the “Conquer Local” podcast is to learn more about that. What we’re all trying to sell is the new marketing stack. And thank you to everybody that is drinking the Kool-Aid on this.

I was watching a webinar the other day from Australia with a good friend of mine, Michael Watkins, and he has inside his material at “Sensis Yellow” the new marketing stack. Now I don’t know if he got that from listening to the “Conquer Local” podcast, which I know he is a listener but it’s great to see because that is what…it’s not just what we’re selling. It’s what the business needs. And we know it, definitively, that that’s what that business needs. I can back it up with all sorts of data that this is what the business needs.

So the strategy story should be one of those elevator pitches. Do you remember the elevator pitch podcast that we had? You’re gonna have a bunch of elevator pitches and the strategy elevator pitch is really important. Now you may have one for dentists and you may have one for car dealers and you may have one for restaurants, but the underlying bones of that strategy story is the new marketing stack, and it is the fact that the client needs to be looking at their customer journey. Those pieces shouldn’t change. We know for a fact that sales organizations that use those pieces are, dramatically, more successful than those that don’t. And everybody is jumping on this bandwagon and you need to make sure that you’re delivering that message clearly, and you need to make sure that you’re able to back it up. And that’s why the next step, which is a really important piece, after you’ve outlined your strategy is you go right to performance.

3. Performance

Most sales people are gonna leave performance until 30 days from after the guy signs a contract. Don’t do that. Talk about the performance metrics that you’re going to measure right out of the gate. So here’s how it works. You sit down with the client, you do the needs analysis. You come back. Even if you could make the presentation on the spot, come back. Put some time in. Come up with a proper presentation. And then, outline what you heard in the needs analysis, outline what the desired state is, set the…I call that setting the stage. “I listened to you, Mister Prospect, Missus Prospect, Miss Prospect and here’s what I heard. I’m reaffirming those items and now here’s my strategy.” Elevator pitch, elevator pitch, elevator pitch. And then you come into performance right out of the gate. We haven’t talked about any product. We haven’t talked about any tactics. We haven’t talked about anything. What we’ve…are gonna lay out right out of here is here are the things that we’re going to measure. That’s now gonna set you apart from 9 out of the other 10 people that are calling on that prospect. You are prepared to stand by your performance. That’s a really important piece of being the trusted local expert. So performance is the next piece to this and then after performance we can get into the tactics.

4. Recommendations

Now this is an important piece, the recommendations that we’re gonna make, the things that we’re gonna do, the products that we’re going to sell you, the, you know, the candy, the eye candy. Here’s…you click a button and it’s gonna do this stuff. Don’t show them all to the client, please. No one likes being thrown up on in a sales call. It’s not a good idea. Here’s what you wanna put in front of the customer. It’s a really important part of this presentation. The piece that they grab onto, the piece that really hits home, the “Aha” moment that they have. Lean on that piece with the recommendation and the tactics. Really lean on that and say, “We’re gonna take care of that. I’m gonna get that out of the way.” And if it wasn’t gonna be, “We’re gonna take care of that in 60 days.” Change the approach right on the spot and say, “We’re gonna solve that problem for you right away.” Because that’s the piece that’s gonna give you a win, a wow moment, where the customer goes, “Wow. First off, this person actually listened to me. Number two, they know what they’re talking about. They’ve got a really clear message. They weren’t afraid to stand behind their performance. Nobody else has been like that. And then they actually solved my freaking problem.”

Those are the four pieces to a killer presentation that’s going to win 60% of the time, it wins a 100% of the time. It’s probably gonna win a lot more than that, but those are the four pieces. And then you have resources.

5. Resources

So this is an important piece to the puzzle as well because you may have a prospect across the table that is not a type A personality. They might be very detail-oriented, and they want data or data, wherever you may be listening to this. They want to be able to dig into that stuff, and we’ve all presented to those people. They usually have the title of controller, accountant, CFO, and you wanna make sure that you have something for that. Now let’s say that you’re pitching to somebody that is a type A personality, and they’re not the sole decision maker. Their partner in business, their partner in life is detail-oriented. So I always defer to putting it in there. Now there was a part of me years ago that was like, “Oh, I don’t really wanna confuse the customer. I don’t really wanna put it in there.” Well, the only time that I would do that is if I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that there was one decision maker and I’d really clearly understood their personality and their personality traits. We’ll get into personality traits in a future edition of the Master Sales Series and how you can identify them and how you can be a chameleon to adapt to them. But what I’m saying is, if you know that person isn’t detail-oriented, they’re making the decision, then don’t put a bunch of crap in there. You’re just wasting your time. You may confuse them.

But I like to defer to putting it in there because you never really know. There aren’t very many large presentations that you close on the spot. There’s like, “I need to think about it. I need to talk to my board. There are other people that are gonna weigh in on this. I wanna make sure that I get buy-in.” Have you ever heard that on a sales call? “I wanna make sure that I get buy-in.” And what happens if those people that are giving the buy-in are detail-oriented people who want a bunch of resources and you don’t have them and your competitors do? So that’s why I would always put them in there. Just put them in the appendices and say, “Hey, I just wanted to pull your attention. If you’re looking for some of this crap, it’s right here.”


So that’s it. That’s the killer presentation format. We’re actually going to attach a skeleton of the killer presentation format right here inside the podcast, and you can download it, and you can use it to your heart’s content. I’m excited because imagine if we could have a whole bunch more sales people all over the world doing a better job of serving their customers, it’s just gonna help our entire industry, and that’s what it’s all about inside the “Conquer Local” podcast. We’re making better conquerors out there in our space. The killer presentation format is the latest in the edition of the Master Sales Series. My name is George Leith. I will see you when I see you.