Sales Presentations – Know Your Target Audience

How do you prepare for a presentation? Everyone thinks about slide layout, titles and graphics when they start to put together a presentation. All of that is important, but do you think about your audience? Do you know who they are and what influe

nces them?

When I am preparing a sales presentation for a group of engineers it is much different from the presentation that I prepare to sell to a management team.

Engineers want technical details, data that is well documented (and I better have evidence that supports my data). Engineers will sit through a longer presentation if it progresses through your products and capabilities in an orderly fashion. They respond to charts and graphs, examples and facts.

Management expects a more formal presentation with examples of cost savings and benefits and they like testimonials from other customers, especially well-known or “big name” companies. They respond to shorter presentations without too many technical details, but with some sort of assurances, especially guarantees.

The trick is finding a presentation that appeals to both engineers and management. I frequently have both in my audience. So I have to either find the right balance of technical details, benefits and customer testimonials or decide if I should cater to one or the other. Sometimes management depends on engineering to recommend products and if you don’t satisfy their technical questions in that, you can be ineffective.

I always provide a note-pad and pen if engineers are my audience. I let them know that interruptions for questions are welcome and if there is anything that they want to hear more or less about to please let me know. I end my presentations by asking if anyone would like a copy of the presentation emailed to them. Engineers rarely remember to bring business cards to meetings and this provides their contact information so that I can follow up.