July 5, 2016
As PPC marketers, we spend a great deal of time in our accounts working toward goals and focusing on account growth and expansion. Since that’s the core of our role, it’s exactly what we should be doing with our time. However, clients frequently ask us to showcase our work in presentations.
We sometimes get hung up figuring out what needs to be presented and how it should be presented. It can suck up a lot of valuable time, so it’s best to think it through and come up with a plan. Below, I will detail how I’ve dealt with this challenge in the past and share some tips to make the process easier.
The first thing I like to do is understand the logistics of the meeting, as this can have a real impact on the presentation. I’ll ask questions such as:
- Am I going to the client’s office?
- Are they coming to mine?
- Who will be there?
- What are those people interested in learning from this meeting?
- When is the meeting?
- Am I giving myself enough time to prepare?
Once I get a better understanding of those details I can get the process started.
Communicate With Your Client Contact
One of the items that have been imperative to creating successful presentations is remaining in constant contact with my client about the structure of the presentation and what I’m planning to cover. At first, it might not seem natural to do this, but the client can provide valuable feedback as to whether or not the data you’re providing will be well-received by the others attending the meeting.
Having conversations like this one throughout the process allows you enough time to make the necessary changes along the way and not rush in the days immediately preceding your meeting. Remember that your client has a vested interest in this presentation being successful, as this is their opportunity to highlight to others in their company all the great work you’ve been collaborating on together.
Think High Level
Since account managers are inside the accounts day after day, it’s very easy to get caught up in the minor details in your presentation. Chances are, this will do nothing more than confuse others, as most people in your audience aren’t as well-versed as you and your client contact are on PPC. With that said, think about how you can reframe your thoughts in a way that presents the fruits of your labor on a higher level, as that is most likely going to capture the attention of your audience more than speaking granularly about your efforts. If you get too specific, you’ll find that your presentation will go off on a tangent and it will be challenging to bring it back on track.
If it’s a quarterly presentation, I like to focus on the KPIs and highlight year-over-year stats. That’s usually a great springboard for discussion, at which point you get to dig a little into the details if needed. I also don’t feel it’s necessary to speak about every single thing I’ve done to the account since the last time we’ve met. Rather, I think about the bigger efforts – the ones the moved the needle for the client – and draw the attention there.
Letting the client know the basics about the initiative and the results of the effort helps them understand how you’ve been spending the bulk of your time in the account. Again, it is also usually a gateway to productive conversation.
I like to devote part of my presentation to speaking about industry trends in general, as I find it is something that I rarely get the chance to do in my day-to-day account management role. The reason this topic is so important is because it shows the client that you are looking at how they stack up against their entire industry. However, it also opens up some broader conversations about what they are seeing within their industry. I usually don’t hear much of that from clients on their weekly calls, so this is a great time to pause for a few moments and gain a deeper understanding of their industry in general.
As much as clients like to hear about the great work that you’ve done, it’s also important for you to give them a peek at what will be coming down the pike in the next few months. Talk about new initiatives that you’ll be working on within their accounts and prepare some visual slides to bring those initiatives to life. This is usually my favorite part of the presentation because it tends to be the most exciting part for the client (plus it means that the presentation is almost over). Great brainstorming and ideas are usually born from these slides and I find myself leaving the meeting ready to tackle these new initiatives.
Wash, Rinse, Repeat
Consistency is key in client relationships, so make sure your presentations reflect this sentiment as well. If you just got the whole room excited about three initiatives that you’re going to be undertaking, make sure that you speak about the results of those initiatives the next time you prepare a presentation for them. Also, keeping the same format to your slide deck will help maintain consistency with your presentations.
Without a doubt, preparing and delivering a client presentation can be stressful. If you take the time to structure it with your audience in mind, it could result in a highly productive conversation that can open up doors for your account.