Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: Book the Hour (Presentation Meetings)

Several of our recent Tips have related to delivering a compelling presentation. Here's another question to consider along those same lines:

How long does it take to prepare to deliver an effective presentation? 

Of course, there is no perfect answer to this question. Some meetings genuinely take longer to prepare for than others, but one answer to consider is, "as long as you let it". Many of us have had sales cycles drag on endlessly because we lacked the impetus to drive necessary actions to completion.

One of the most important things we can do to make presentation preparation efficient is to "book the hour". What we mean by this term is to "schedule the presentation with the decision maker". The sooner this is done, the faster everything else will fall into place. For example:

  • When you can reference your upcoming meeting with the decision maker, research contacts are typically more open to accepting our meetings, so research meetings get scheduled more quickly and easily.
  • When you've qualified an opportunity enough to schedule this meeting, our own leaders are more likely to dedicate resources to support us (sales support, SMEs, solution design...)
  • When the meeting is looming, it is easier to get our team, including leaders, together for a rehearsal session. Try scheduling a rehearsal session for a presentation that isn't scheduled yet and see how that goes!

Of course, the biggest impact associated with booking the hour may be personal. To restate something we all already know, and need to constantly keep in mind, is that everything happens faster with a deadline. Book the hour and create your deadline!

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Mark Shonka

Sales Tip: Words Matter

As presenters, we do a lot to deliver a presentation to the best of our ability: we craft our message; develop a PowerPoint deck; review the draft with a coach; rehearse with our teams… These are all big and important steps to take.

Another factor to consider is actually quite small...