It’s a simple truth: presentations are always about sales. Whether selling the potential of your company to get funding, selling a product, or selling a new approach and educating to enlist supporters – the list goes on. If you’re giving a presentation, you’re selling something. In fact, I’m confident that you’d be hard pressed to think of a situation where you’d give a presentation and not be selling something.

When it comes to sales, you have to put things in context. Just providing the facts and allowing your audience to interpret them as they will is equivalent to giving someone a dictionary citation and expecting them to immediately see how it would translate into a top-selling novel. The narrative is the context – this is where you connect the dots and show them the path to success. Naturally, all dots lead to your company, your product, your value proposition, your vision – you get my point. Context counts.

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Intuitively you believe all marketing activities, including PR, should support your sales program. Yet, you recall that PR has a higher calling and should remain in the domain of strategic corporate activities that center on shareholder value, goodwill, and corporate citizenship. Both views are right-on, as PR is a broad discipline and can be deployed to address many needs at multiple levels within a company.

But for now, let's focus on how PR can add value and shorten the sales cycle.

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Experts are everywhere.  Whether they are the nerdy neighbor next door who knows everything there is to know about Wi-Fi, the manager at the auto parts store who can rebuild an entire engine or the aunt in Cincinnati who can out-bake Martha Stewart - we look to them for their expertise. More importantly, when they recommend a product, we listen. We also look to higher profile experts like Warren Buffett for financial acumen, Microsoft's former CEO Steve Ballmer for software savvy or Andy Grove, former leader of Intel, for his wisdom.

 

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