The substance of a closing presentation is as critical as covering all the pertinent points on achieving the client's expectations and objectives for the campaign. However, the delivery of that presentation is equally as important! Remember, prospects buy from reps that they like and trust. Don't be one of those back-slapping reps, but instead work to earn the client's trust. The rep is asking the customer to part with their money. Parting with one's money is a very serious proposition. Clients want to know that once they give their money to the sales rep and the media company that they will be taken care of and will receive follow-up after the sale. The preparation of the proposal and the sizzle added to the presentation help a prospect determine if the rep is serious about handling the account. In many cases, the more creativity put into the delivery of the presentation will give the prospect confidence that the rep will take good care of them afterwards. I liken it to a person who is willing to go to AT&T Park in San Francisco and put a marriage proposal up on the scoreboard during the baseball game. Just a little sizzle can go a long way in getting the desired result, and rising above the clutter sizzle can bring it home!
At the beginning of my radio career in San Antonio, Texas, I was calling on Rick Carter of the Red McCombs Automotive Group. I was presenting an annual proposal, and I was far from calm. I was actually very nervous since it was my first break into a market of a million people. Serious stuff. I wanted my presentation to rise above the clutter, so I brought some dry ice with me. Yes, dry ice! How many times have you seen a good proposal die because the rep that delivered it came across like someone on the AMC series "The Walking Dead"? It was not going to happen to me.
I purchased some pieces of dry ice and put some water in a Tupperware container that fit into my briefcase. As I was talking to Rick, I opened my briefcase (facing toward me) and put the ice in the water. It immediately started to smoke. As I pulled out my proposal with the smoke coming out of the briefcase I said, "Here is the hottest proposal in San Antonio!" I literally blew the smoke off the proposal as I pulled it out of the briefcase, and off I went. The dry ice relieved any tension that Rick had when I was asking for such big dollars, and it lightened up the entire atmosphere. Focus follows fun! The salespeople on the showroom floor had their faces glued to his office window watching this presentation.
The dry ice intro set the stage for the presentation, and Rick knew that I was willing to go the extra mile to work for him. The dry ice was a great prop, and I have used it several times over the years. By the way, I have never failed to get the order when I use the dry ice.
As sales reps, we have to make our presentations and proposals rise above the clutter. Surveys say that the style and method of presenting a proposal can carry up to 80 percent of the impact on the buying decision. Make your presentations special and a little different. The great sales reps go out of their way to add a little pizzazz!