- POWERPOINT AS A SALES TOOL

While most of us in the speaking and training profession wouldn't think of using anything but PowerPoint for our multimedia slide shows in the classroom, we don't often consider the great many uses this program has for the sales agent.

Truth is, sales agents can very easily use PowerPoint for their daily business presentations; and often already own the program as part of the Microsoft Office Suite.

This article will specifically focus on its use in listing appointments and at open houses.

Listing Presentations

While many other multimedia presentations force you to adapt your presentation to their formatting, (using just one of a few standard templates) PowerPoint offers unparalleled flexibility in creating custom multimedia slide shows that allow you to guide the conversation in a manner most effective and appropriate to your style.

Imagine a presentation that runs on your laptop (plugged into the client's TV if you like) that contains:

How could a client be anything other than impressed!

Now consider that creating a multimedia presentation with PowerPoint is actually faster, cheaper and easier to do than putting together a printed presentation and you've got what I like to call: "The Competitive Edge"

In order to really get excited about this concept, let me share a few important facts:

  1. Most of the above work can be reused for every presentation you create. You really only need to change the particular sales comparables and area maps, so future listing appointments can be prepared in a snap.
  2. PowerPoint can easily import all of the photographs, map graphics, charts, video clips and voice recording files that you created in other programs. In fact, the voice-overs can be recorded directly into PowerPoint.
  3. The presentation can be face-to-face, or distributed on disk (with a free "viewer" that can be downloaded from Microsoft's web site) so the client can replay the presentation at their convenience.

You're probably going to need a scanner, and/or digital camera to make all of this come to life. And, while I'll admit that the learning curve can be intimidating, once you've got the skills, the payoff is immense.

You can now go paperless in your presentations, modify them at will, and create an unrivaled professional impression on your clients.

Open Houses

Another great use of PowerPoint is for creating special presentations that can be used during your Open Houses.

Imagine a relocating buyer coming to your Open House next Sunday. This is someone who is not too familiar with the neighborhood and all that it has to offer. As they enter the family room, they notice that the TV is on, and they hear your voice coming from the set. Moving closer, they watch as a "slide show" presents photographs of the home, the neighborhood, school information and the other local conveniences.

As each photograph replaces another, text captions clearly indicate the benefits of the surrounding amenities, and your voice gently explains exactly what they are viewing

Perhaps a few graphs appear on screen that demonstrates past appreciation of homes in the area. Maybe an animated chart assembles itself before their eyes and clearly demonstrates financing options and the income and debt levels required for purchase of the home.

Toward the end of the presentation the screen dissolves to prominently display your photograph, name and company logo.

There might even be small bags of popcorn sitting on the coffee table, with a small sign nearby that simply says: "Please Take One, and Enjoy!"

What do you need to accomplish this techno-wizardry? Not as much as you might think.

If you've got PowerPoint, a notebook computer, a digital camera and scanner and an afternoon to learn how, then you're just one Sunday away from holding a spectacular Open House.

How can it be so easy? Realize that PowerPoint can easily accomplish a number of tasks that will make your presentation shine.

Though some notebook computers have TV output jacks built-in, you might need to purchase an adapter to connect system into the client’s TV. Beyond this, there really isn't much else you'll need to accomplish this feat.

A few tips to keep it simple and professional:

  1. Don't try to reinvent the wheel. Use one of the sample presentations that comes with PowerPoint; they're very well designed. Simply add your photos, text and voice-overs.
  2. Reuse the presentation for your next Open House, just change the photos, text and re-record the voice-overs.
  3. If you don't want to fool around with hooking up to the client's TV, you can always record the slideshow to a VHS tape and simply play it on the seller's VCR. However, you'll have to record many consecutive "shows" onto the single tape in order to give the effect of a self-repeating presentation.
  4. If you're going to give out popcorn (and why not?), then be sure to attach your card to every bag!

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Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale