Colleen O'Connor August 5, 2020 | 08:47:06
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PR Tips On “Closing The Deal”

Business presentations are both exciting and stressful — whether you’re in PR, sales, marketing or a tech startup looking for funding. 

Intangible factors like personal chemistry, charisma, and energy are top factors. But especially in the COVID era, the packaging of the presentation itself is also critical.

Before you speak in-person or virtually, prospective clients or investors will automatically judge your proposition by how you present your credentials in digital form. The goal of any presentation is to persuade, so the digital document’s contents should wow future clients or investors with its content, design, and impact.

Here’s how you can make yours stand out.

Start with research

When asking for a commitment from a prospective client or funder, it helps to get inside their heads. What do they want to see in a relationship? What are their hot buttons? Their backgrounds? Winning presentations are highly tailored, so it pays to know as much as possible about the targets and, of course, the industry. Use data where appropriate, but don’t throw it in without a reason. Every piece of the proposal should offer relevance and support your goal. 

Make it look appealing

Decks should be both visually appealing and informative. There are many different resources available for clean, professional and powerful digital documents. Are you using a readable font? Is it all the same size and color? Are the tone and graphics suitable for the age and experience level of the decision-makers? Consistency shows your audience that you’re reliable and attentive to details. 

Consider using more visuals over text in decks. Data has shown that 41.5% of proposals see higher engagement from visuals such as infographics and original images. 

Offer examples and stories

Examples are very powerful in any sales situation. Rather than tell your audience what a fine partner you’ll make, illustrate it with actual anecdotes and experiences. PR agencies always include case studies for this reason. They show how we’ve worked with clients in similar industries and can be tailored to very specific problems or needs. The best examples tell a story of how you helped a client or investor meet their goals, and they’re likely to be memorable.

Use data, but use it well

Investors and prospective clients want to see data about ROI and hard facts that will convince them to seal the deal. Data is very powerful when packaged in a visually digestible way and used sparingly rather than overwhelming the audience with reams of charts.

Offer clear strategies

There’s nothing worse than confusing or overwhelming your audience. A good presentation should offer clear, yet simple strategies that topline information before filling in details and examples. 

Differentiate yourself

PR presentations are all about differentiation, and we’re not alone. A good proposal will convey what makes your offer distinct from competitors or alternative strategies. Do you have competitive pricing and more tailored customization for every client? Is your business plan unique in its approach to the marketplace? Emphasize that in your presentation. Your goal is to make the potential client feel confident in your capabilities and credibility.

It’s all about the delivery

Sure, your deck may look amazing and have all the right strategies but how about when it comes to delivery and actually presenting it? Assign roles to designated team members a few days before the big presentation. This will give them time to practice their delivery. You want to sound energetic about the ideas! Preparation is a must for these things but don’t overdo it, or you risk sounding stale.

What are some tips you have for closing the deal? Let me know on Twitter @colleeno_pr.

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