How to Sell Like Don Draper

We can’t all be Don Draper, the suave Mad Men protagonist who mesmerizes clients
with his presentation skills. But we can learn from him. Kelley Robertson recently summarized how to improve your sales presentations in an article for BusinessKnowHow. Above all, keep in mind that a solid sales presentation combines theater with content.

When Don Draper wins an account, it’s because he shows the client his vision for the product will transform consumers’ lives and become an indispensable part of the culture. He’s able to do this because he understands what the product does and he understands its impact on consumers.

Your sales presentations can be equally effective, but unless you’re as uniquely gifted as Don Draper, you’ll want to prepare ahead of time. As you’re creating your slides, remember Robertson’s advice to focus on the ‘must-​have’ information. Start your presentation by summarizing the client's needs. You don’t need to review your company's history in great detail. You need to explain how your solution will meet their needs.

Make sure to include specific examples and case studies of how your service or product has helped other clients achieve their goals. This is where your theater and storytelling skills come into play. Even busy executives want to hear  how someone else in their situation struggled and then found success. You can build suspense during this part of your presentation by withholding key information until just the right moment. You can also increase interaction by asking prospects what they think the outcome was.

Finally, be sure to practice your presentation. You want to make sure the information flows smoothly, especially when you come to the most important part — ending your presentation and encouraging the prospect to sign with you.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.