Long gone are the hard sell days of scripted, uninterrupted presentations. Face-to-face selling today requires a consultative approach. Rather than steamrolling your audience, you need to probe in order to uncover needs. Salespeople call these needs or problems “hot buttons.” On a sales call, your mission is to find the hot buttons, and then demonstrate how your product fixes them. For example, let’s say that your plan is to present five problems that your product addresses. In probing, you discover that only one of the five areas is a hot button. Realizing this, focus all of your efforts on the hot button and forget the other four talking points. Above all, engage with your audience, understand what motivates them, and respond to those motivations.
This agile presentation approach works with all kinds of audiences, even investors. In the meeting, rather than barreling through your pitch, pause frequently and ask probing questions. Find their hot buttons, and then leverage this information to lead them to the conclusion that your company belongs in their portfolio.