The Unexpected Sales Tool

Presentation Tips

Just as what you include in the portfolio is important, so is the presentation of your work. In general, most portfolio presentations shouldn't last any longer than 15 minutes.

Timing is also important when pulling out your portfolio. Garton likes to present his after he and the client have had a chance to talk. That way, Garton can tailor the presentation to his client's needs and show similar jobs.

During a presentation, keep an eye on the viewer for signs of boredom, which can be detected through body language. If he or she is leaning toward the portfolio and looking interested, then continue as you are. But if the person's eyes are glazing over or he's looking around the room, speed up the presentation.

When showing your portfolio, ask viewers to let you know when they see something they really like. This will let you know what they are looking for.

Throughout the presentation, it is important to relate the portfolio to the client. "Your purpose isn't to gloat

or to wow them," says Garton. "You want to relate what you've done in the past to what you can do for them now."

As a matter of fact, it's critical to be careful about what photos you do describe. Don't, for instance, point out a big, expensive job to a client who only has a small budget.

Maintain enthusiasm when presenting the portfolio, even if it's the tenth time that week you've shown your work. Clients want to know that you enjoy what you do.

Besides illustrating products and services, a portfolio legitimizes you in the eyes of potential clients by showing that you can produce quality work. After seeing your high-quality portfolio, clients will tell you what good work you do--you won't have to tell them.

Like this article? Get this issue right now on iPad, Nook or Kindle Fire.

This article was originally published in the July 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: The Unexpected Sales Tool.

Loading the player ...

Shark Tank's Daymond John on Lessons From His Worst Mistakes

Ads by Google

Share Your Thoughts

Connect with Entrepreneur

Most Shared Stories