We're pleased to share a guest post today from Luke Goetting, founder of Puffingston, an exciting presentation design firm. We love how Puffingston looks at visuals. You can join us for a webinar with Luke on May 10, 2016.
You work for months or maybe even years on the perfect website design for your company. You go through numerous revisions on your brochures and marketing collateral until you finally land on the elusive edition you’re happy with. You’ve developed and refined a social media strategy so in-depth that every single tweet, “like” or share adequately portrays your brand (fingers crossed!). But what about your sales presentations?
If you’re like most people, these presentations frequently get thrown together in the eleventh hour without much planning or consideration — let alone help from a professional designer. However, your sales decks are an important piece of the puzzle.
Unlike the aforementioned outlets, your presentation represents a unique opportunity to communicate with an audience in-person and deliver your message for minutes and sometimes hours…for better or worse.
Use these three tips when creating your sales deck and you’ll better connect with your audiences and allow your message to leave a lasting impression — unlike the slides you haphazardly created during your commute.
- Showcase Your Brand
Like any of your other marketing materials, a sales decks should capture the spirit of your overall brand. And before you ask — simply creating a generic company presentation template does not fit the bill. Sure, that template might have the right font or appropriate footer. But that “paint by numbers” approach to design really only limits your visual communication options.
Your sales decks should emphasize certain characteristics of your company that you take pride in. Just take a look at this Vykin Corporation example: As an IT solutions company, Vykin competes in a very tech-savvy industry. The company’s presentation design reflects its expertise in that arena with numerous design elements that represent its high-tech, digital capabilities.
The opportunity to translate the brand into these visual pieces would’ve been completely missed had Vykin opted to stick with the structured look of traditional slide templates. So, go beyond fonts, get creative and work in design elements that are representative of your overall brand.
- Showcase Your Company
Any competent salesperson knows successful deals are all about relationships. People want to work with and buy from other people — not faceless, nameless corporations. Yet so many companies choose to portray their organizations as detached, impersonal entities in their slide decks. They represent themselves with facts and figures rather than friendly faces.
If you want to truly connect with your audience, incorporate photos of your offices, customers with your products and even employees into your slides — like this example presentation from Tiempo Development. These should be real photos rather than generic stock options — and they should be incorporated throughout your presentation, not just on one or two introductory slides.
This strategy demonstrates your company has both a personality and friendly people behind it, leaving your prospect with a stronger connection to your brand.
- Showcase Your Topic
It’s important to recognize your sales deck should not be so generic that it serves every possible presentation purpose (ineffectively). Instead, your sales deck should be designed and optimized specifically for your particular topic — and that alone. The visual pieces of your presentation should support your overall topic, like this example from Card Integrity.
For example, if your presentation is all about golf, it should feature photos and icons directly associated with that sport. If you’re aiming to sell a children’s toy, showcase fun illustrated characters. Yes, these steps will involve a little extra work and consideration, but they also continuously remind your audience of the topic and keep them immersed and engaged in the experience.
It’s also important to ensure that you don’t miss the forest for the trees with your presentations. As a salesperson, it’s easy to become so familiar with the overall topic that you drill down and only focus on the minor checkboxes and details required for the sale. If you’re talking about luxury pools, you might be tempted to zone in on things like pumps, valves, lights and sensors. However, remember that your customer really only cares about the end experience — the pool. While you might need to address details along the way, be careful to always keep the overall objective present for your customer.
If you really want your sales decks to make an impact, you need to kiss those templates goodbye and put in some work to bring the WOW factor your audience. You wouldn’t launch your website after one afternoon’s work (deep breaths web admins), so make sure you’re committing the appropriate time to the visual aid that can really help you communicate your message and leave a lasting impression!