Align the Team to Close the Deal
How many different types of multi-person presentations does your company deliver?
In each case, more than one person is helping deliver a key part of a message. To "close the deal" – selling the audience on its ideas, products or services – it's the "sum of the parts" that's essential for successful outcomes.
- Senior management launches a new brand, product or service and wants to inspire and motivate the troops;
- A sales team responds to an RFP to demonstrate why their firm should be selected as the vendor;
- Human resources reviews corporate and insurance policy changes affecting everyone;
- Marketing sells its strategy from the multiple perspectives of customer segments, engagement, media, execution, etc
On a baseball field, each player must be aligned with their role relative to everyone else's in order to get the batter "out". In an orchestra, each musician must be skilled and ready to deliver a great performance. But the "team" must be "aligned" to produce a mellifluous experience rather than let each person do as they want – which would lead to discrete, cacophonous sounds.
From an organizational standpoint, we often recognize that "silos" within companies – in which different departments (e.g., sales and marketing) work too independently of other work groups. The lack of alignment between the groups takes a toll on both the results (e.g., sales and customer satisfaction) and also on the process (e.g., employee satisfaction and team spirit).
The same can be said from a presentation perspective: a great performance by one represented can be undermined by the lack of similar performances by others; and the unevenness of the total experience can cost the team its ability to close the deal.
An example. After 12 firms submitted proposals, three have been invited to present their proposals a multi-million dollar contract. Each company decides on the key issues to present in order to persuade the client that they have the best skills, experience and team to deliver a value-added job on-time and on-budget. A presentation team of 3-6 people are selected to deliver the pitch. Commonly, each has an outline of what the other presenters will say, but don't necessarily coordinate the presentation. From the client perspective, it appears as if a group of individuals within the company have been chosen to report on different issues. On the other hand, an aligned team communicates how they are going to work together to provide true "added value".
For example, most company presentations relate the experience of the individuals – how long they have worked in the field, notable and trophy projects they worked on, etc. Imagine each person saying "I've worked in this industry for 20 years..." That could be construed as proof that they're all "old-fashioned" – wedded to ways of thinking developed two decades ago!
To counter this, the person has to demonstrate how experience saves time and money through better analysis and superior problem solving, using modern tools.
Moreover, the client is buying team effort not individual performances. It's the team not separate individuals that usually analyzes larger problems and creates innovative, value-engineered solutions that substantially save clients time and money, Therefore, the team needs to demonstrate that they are a team which taps the collective experiences of each member and the group-decision making process for the client. This can be done, for instance, by having the members discuss how they collaboratively solved problems which saved the day for referenced clients. Practicing this during group rehearsals, makes this appear natural and authentic, just as Steve Jobs practice of his solo presentations made each look natural.
In sum, to close more deals, remember these three points:
- The value of all presentations is to facilitate client decision-making. Each member needs to be competent and confidence – and aligned with the other members.
- The whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The client has to believe that each individual and the team as a whole will lead to superior decisions – on behalf of the customer.
- The medium is the message. A presentation in which individuals tell their own story, reminds clients of the silos they see so often. The team needs to rehearse and demonstrate how they together pool information to reach superior solutions – which is what the customer wants to buy.
Our Spring 2012 Webinar series – Wednesdays from 1-2 PM ET – will focus on Business Development, Sales and Marketing Issues. To register for these 8 FREE webinars, click here.
Hosted by Jerry Cahn, Ph.D., J.D.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Are your presentations really working for you? Is your PowerPoint making it easier for you to get the message to the audience, or are you working hard to overcome its flaws? Will you "get through this presentation" and then try to forget it – or will it be a stepping stone in making your career?
Present like a Pro is a workshop that enables you to use each presentation to enhance your career. It focuses on the 5 S's:
- Select just the right
Substance to present to accomplish your goal and eliminate distractive
- Use a Structure which
organizes the material to lead the audience to take the desired action.
- Use a Style of powerful words
& graphics to engage audiences and not bore them!
- Harness critical Speaking
skills to overcome fears, exude confidence and demonstrate your competence.
- Be aware of the Set-Up: the
audience's needs, your ability to present effectively, and where the meeting
will take place.
this program you'll practice by delivering your own presentation, and get
feedback from video & group. To promote your company, service or product -
and your career, don't miss this workshop. To register for the Early Bird Special,
Yes, we also offer in-house corporate group training and one-on-one coaching.
Share with us your needs and we'll find the right solution for you. Click here.
From Our Associates
- www.VistageNewYork.com - Join the CEO Game Changers, Trusted Advisors, and Chief Sales Officers (CSOs) as they accelerate their corporate and personal growth.
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