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Ten Tips for Sales Presentations

07 Jun 2016 10:52 AM | Deleted user
When making a presentation to sell a large quantity of books, many publishers create PowerPoint slides with many colorful charts and graphs. But data itself does not convince people to buy. It’s the interpretation of data and its application to the needs of each buyer that make the sale. When preparing your presentation, first think about what you are presenting – ideas or data. Then consider your purpose: Do you want to inform, persuade or explore? The answers will suggest what tools and resources you need for each presentation. Here are Ten Tips for Preparing a Visual Sales Presentation.


  1. Do not automatically convert a spreadsheet into a chart. That only visualizes data. It doesn’t communicate your idea.
  2. During the preparation stage, design skills are less important than idea generation. Remember that form follows function.
  3. Seek the reasons behind patterns, trends and anomalies, then demonstrate how your recommendation will continue, support or correct them.
  4. Demonstrate the human activity behind the lines in your charts – and how your recommendation can influence them.
  5. Do not start with the graphs. First consider the nature and purpose of your visualization.
  6. Ask yourself, “Is the information conceptual or data-driven?” This identifies what you have – the basis for your presentation. It is not the presentation itself.
  7. Next ask, “Am I declaring something or exploring something?” This describes what you are doing: either communicating information (“Here is how my content can help you…”) or trying to figure something out (“What if we…”).
  8. Use metaphors and simple designs to clarify and illustrate complex ideas. A useful skill is similar to what a text editor brings to a manuscript – the ability to pare things down to their essence.
  9. Your focus should be on clearly communicating the logic behind your ideas. The resulting discussion should be about the idea in the chart, not the chart itself.
  10. “Simple” is the key. Your presentation should communicate a single message: why your content is the best means for reaching your prospect’s objectives


Brian Jud is the Executive Director of the Association of Publishers for Special Sales (APSS – www.bookapss.org) and author of How to Make Real Money Selling Books and Beyond the Bookstore. Contact Brian at brianjud@bookmarketing.com or www.premiumbookcompany.com and twitter @bookmarketing


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