As a marketer you will be putting a lot of hard work into phoning and writing, establishing contact and rapport with potential new clients. That work builds up to a key moment: meeting in person with the key decision makers.

Whether you’re doing this yourself or handing over to a director, it’s vital to get it right. First impressions are so important, and you only get one chance to make them.

That means you’ll want to prepare thoroughly. It’s often said you should allow a ratio of 10:1 in the amount of time you spend preparing for a presentation.  Ten hours of labour to get a one-hour presentation right.  That sounds like a lot, but you’re investing in a potentially valuable long-term relationship. As with any investment, you need to look at it very carefully before you commit.  Of course, once you’ve got a great presentation, you can easily re-use or adapt it for the next time.

As you prepare, consider these four key components to an effective presentation – and they are equally applicable to a simple one-to-one appointment. These are the four things you want your meeting to achieve, and keeping them in mind will help keep you focused as you prepare and deliver your presentation.

1.    Show that you can meet the customer’s key criteria for delivery of the service.  Find out what those criteria are in advance, so you can communicate clearly that you understand the client’s concerns, and that you have appropriate solutions. Leave the client in no doubt that you understand their needs.

2.    Provide evidence that you will be of real value to the client. It’s not enough to say what you can do. Bring case studies or testimonials that show what your business is capable of, so that they can be confident that you can deliver the solutions they are looking for.

3.    Demonstrate facts and added value that distinguish you from the competition. You won’t be the only one in the running, so make sure you’ve communicated what makes you different, why they want to move your company to the top of the pile.

4.    Motivate your client to employ you. For example, identify some potential benefits and values that you can add that either they have not thought of, or your competitors may not have.  Leave them in no doubt you’re interested!

Ensure that your presentation speaks to these four elements, and check against them as you practice. If you’re going to rehearse the presentation with a colleague, suggest they look for these four things as you speak, and get them to feed back on each of them.

If you need a helping hand with your marketing, get in touch today. Download our Really Useful Guide to Construction Marketing - and if you’re a member of the CIOB, you can read it as part of your continuing professional development.



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