Well done. You’ve created an awesome bid or tender that’s provided you with the opportunity to present your proposal to the company’s decision makers.
Now the real ‘selling’ starts and it’s critical that you understand the importance of holding the assessor’s attention whilst you deliver your key points.
It’s a harsh truth, but if you lose their attention in the first few minutes, there’s a very good chance you’ll lose the business.
The Standard Three Part Structure
Most work winning presentations follow a three-part structure.
- Firstly, you start with a standard opening outlining your company’s history, its organisational structure and an overview of your main business activities.
- Secondly, the main body contains the technical details about the service or product that you will be delivering.
- Thirdly, the sales pitch is where your key selling messages are pulled out and your presenter tries to close the business.
We have all listened to presentations like this many times, and probably delivered a few using the same approach.
Is the Client Bothered?
It seems to make sense: We must explain who we are and what we do before we can start talking about the proposed work for this client.
And equally we have to explain the technical details before we can put out the key selling messages.
But look at it in from the client’s perspective. The people interested in your company’s history, structure and business activities already know it.
It was covered in the literature you left or the proposal you wrote. And frankly the more senior people around the table are not bothered; they only want to know what you can do for them.
They’re Just Bored…
So your introduction bored them.
That means when you start the second part of your presentation – the bit with the most important messages – you are talking to a group of people who are disinterested and disengaged.
All those important points you’re making are lost.
As you move into the third part they see the end in sight and so their interest begins to rise. But they don’t follow your summary because they missed the key points in the middle.
You should have started with key client benefits, grabbing their attention whilst they are fully alert. Addressing each benefit in turn, you then should have explained how you would deliver them.
Finally you should have ended by briefly restating the most important benefits. This is after all, the way every news broadcast is structured.
So if you want to make sure your presentation doesn’t fail as soon as it begins, it’s time you took a look at how it’s structured and what it does for the client.