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How should you begin your sales presentation [9 ideas]

Here at our presentation design agency, we're in the business of crafting sales presentations day in and day out. One of our very first steps is to figure out how to shape the story and ensure everything flows seamlessly. We work closely with founders or existing sales decks to get this just right. But here's the kicker – getting your sales presentation off to a powerful start can be a real head-scratcher.

We get it. Starting strong is no walk in the park. That's why we decided to take a peek into some of the successful sales decks we've had the pleasure of creating. Our goal? To find exciting and effective ways to begin a presentation that grabs attention.

So, in this article, we've gathered these inspiring ideas just for you. We hope they'll make the job of kicking off your sales pitch a little less daunting.

But first, let's discuss a few basic things...

Why is the beginning of a sales presentation crucial?

First Impressions: Research shows that it takes just 50 milliseconds (0.05 seconds) for a person to form an opinion about your website or presentation. This incredibly brief window of time highlights the significance of making a strong first impression. Your presentation's opening is the prime opportunity to create a positive initial impression, engaging your audience right from the start.

Audience Attention Span: The average human attention span has been steadily decreasing and is currently estimated to be around 8 seconds. This is shorter than that of a goldfish! In the context of a sales presentation, this limited attention span emphasizes the need for an engaging and impactful beginning. If you don't capture your audience's attention swiftly, you risk losing them before you've even had a chance to convey your message.

Decision-Making Speed: Research conducted by Dr. Paul J. Zak, a neuroeconomist, suggests that decisions about trust are made in just 7 seconds. In the sales context, this statistic underlines the critical nature of the first few seconds of your presentation. It's within this brief timeframe that your audience forms initial judgments about your credibility and trustworthiness, making a compelling opening imperative for building trust and rapport.

Practical ideas to begin your sales presentation [Well begun is half done!]

1. Name a Big Relevant Change in the World

This opening technique involves addressing a significant global change or industry shift that directly connects to your product or service. It demonstrates how your offering is aligned with the evolving landscape and why it's relevant for the audience.

For example, if you're selling cybersecurity solutions, you might start by saying, "In today's ever-evolving digital landscape, where data breaches are becoming more sophisticated and frequent, the need for robust cybersecurity has never been more critical. We're here to help you navigate this changing world and secure your digital assets."

2. Ask a Thought-Provoking Question

Begin by posing a question that challenges the audience's current thinking or highlights a common problem in their industry. Encourage them to reflect on the question and its implications.

For example, "Have you ever wondered how much time and money your organization is losing due to inefficient processes? What if there was a solution to not only save time but also boost your revenue?"

3. Tell a Personal Anecdote

Share a brief personal story or experience related to your product or service. This creates a human connection and makes your presentation more relatable.

For example, "I remember the frustration of managing a complex sales pipeline manually. It was a time-consuming and error-prone process, but it led me to the solution we're about to introduce to you today."

4. Use a Bold Statement

Make a bold and attention-grabbing statement that encapsulates the essence of your message or the value your product offers.

For example, "In the next 20 minutes, I'm going to show you how our innovative software can double your team's productivity and increase your revenue by 30%."

5. Quote an Industry Expert

Open with a relevant and influential quote from an industry expert or a respected figure. This adds credibility to your presentation.

For example, "As Warren Buffett once said, 'Price is what you pay, value is what you get.' Today, we'll demonstrate the exceptional value our product delivers."

6. Engage with Visuals

Start with a striking visual, such as an attention-grabbing image, infographic, or a powerful chart that illustrates a key point or sets the stage for your presentation.

For example, if you're selling renewable energy solutions, you might begin with an image of a world with clean, green energy sources.

7. Present a Startling Statistic

Open with a surprising or alarming statistic that emphasizes the problem your product or service addresses.

For example, "Did you know that 70% of small businesses experience data breaches every year? Our cybersecurity solution is here to change that."

8. Use Humor

If it suits your audience and message, start with a light and relevant joke or humorous anecdote to create a friendly atmosphere.

For instance, "Why did the salesperson bring a ladder to the presentation? Because they wanted to take their pitch to the next level!"

9. Create a Mystery

Pose a mystery or challenge that your presentation will solve. Create curiosity and anticipation for what's to come.

For example, "Imagine a world where your team's productivity soars, your customers are delighted, and your competition wonders how you do it. We'll unravel the mystery of achieving this today."

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If you're currently working on creating a sales presentation and require expert guidance, don't hesitate to get in touch with us. We're here to provide comprehensive support throughout the entire process of developing your sales deck.


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