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How to make a presentation which sells…even to retail buyers!


As part of the Dee Clayton Ltd Presentations Tips Interview Series, we shared the views of “Dorset’s Cereal Entrepreneur” on business presentations.

In the video interview with Dee, Nigel Horsman also shares insightful tips on how to do a presentation and specifically, how to do a presentation to retailers and buyers.If you’ve worked with retail buyers you’ll know they can be “tough cookies” (an interesting phrase – as Dee used to work for a biscuit company)! If you don’t work with retail buyers, read on because you can apply these top tips to your industry’s “tough cookies”.Below are Nigel’s top tips, mixed with a few of our own…

5 Top Presentations Tips for Delivering Retailer Presentations that sell:

1. Preparation, Preparation, Preparation

“Pitching to a Retailer is an important meeting and should be treated as such”…“Don’t take them lightly”. Take heed of Nigel’s words and make sure you spend time thinking out the structure and plan for all your business presentations. Don’t just regurgitate the PowerPoint presentations that may have been dished out to you!

Learn about the people you are presenting to, what do they like or dislike. Understand their end consumers – consider what they’re looking for. In the BBC’s The Apprentice (Ready Meals Episode), we saw a schoolboy error: not understanding the difference between the buyer (mum) and the consumer (child). Ensure you know what products the Retailer currently stocks and identify why your product is different. And whilst being different consider where it would fit into the Retailers current product lines.

2. Be Solutions Focused

“Understand what they need and make it easy for them” Nigel says. Buyers working for a Retailer have a massive job and often see lots of business pitches. Give them all the information they need to make decision making simple and take the pressure off them. Make their lives easier and do their homework for them and offer them solutions to their problems. (Whilst of course ensuring you don’t create problems for your own business). Look for win:win solutions.

Watch this 7 min interview – Nigel’s views and advice on how to do a presentation to retailers and buyers starts 3 mins in.

3. Be confident speaking about your product and competitors

It is your product so it’s very likely (unless you are new) that you know it better than most. Be confident in your knowledge…but do avoid internal TLAs (Three Letter Abbreviations)! Ensure you know your competitors and category or industry too. The buyer wants you to demonstrate in your business presentation that you understand the challenges and wins from their perspective. If you suffer from nerves and fear they’ll smell it a mile off – so get some presentation training.

4. Be Flexible, adapt to the live situation

Charlie Bigham recently said when he was a panelist on The Apprentice You’re Fired – sometimes you might have to give your pitch in an unconventional way. He’d done that a few times – in a car park was his example, when a fire alarm went off. So don’t rely on PowerPoint or technology – always be ready to deliver your business presentations anywhere.

5. Be clear on the action points and next steps

People in sales get taught to always be closing, whether you actually phrase it like that or not, it is always good to know where you and the buyer are in the “conversation”. You’ll want to get an idea of their thoughts and even objections. The best place to handle any objections is almost always in the room. Often it’s a multi presentation process (not just a one off presentation) so be clear on what the next steps are, timings and who owns each step.

We’d love you to add your experiences and learnings too – so please add your comments below.

  • Preparing For Business Presentations: Structuring Your Presentation
  • Preparing For Business Presentations: Preparation Tips
  • Preparing For Business Presentations: Why Preparation Can Save You

At Simply Amazing Training we specialise in offering professional training for individuals and teams. If you are customer facing and want to impress clients, or you’re a management executive looking to develop your strengths and fast-track your success take a look at our Executive Presentation Skills Accelerator or call us today for more information.

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