SALES

3 Reasons Most Presentations Fail

Make your sales presentations more compelling and interesting.
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When sales presentations and pitches fail, it's almost always because the presenter made one of these three basic (and fortunately correctable) mistakes, according to Dean Schantz, CEO of DNA Field Branding:

1. Presenting Too Much Information 

Presenting features and functions is like describing plastics used to make a telephone, rather than what that phone can mean to your life. What your solution IS and DOES has much less emotional impact than what it MEANS to them. Do this instead:

  • Limit your presentation to three key relevant "value propositions" that are unique to your solution and important to this buyer.
  • Highlight the unique value your solution and company alone can bring them.
  • Make your unique value come alive in their world using tangible, concrete, simple and visual examples.

2. Presenting From the Wrong Point of View

If your presentation is all about you, like how long you've been in business, your huge stable of existing customers, and your office locations around the world, the customer's likely reaction is a big "what does any of this have to do with ME?" Do this instead:

  • Present from the customer's point of view, so they can imagine how your solution will benefit their business, financial, and personal life.
  • Build your agenda around the customer's needs, pains, and desires, and how your solution will work to change their world.
  • Ask for the customer's feedback whenever you notice that you've piqued their interest.

3. Not Explaining Why You're Different

It is hard enough for prospects to make intelligent choices, so don't make it harder. If you cannot articulate and prove the difference between you and your competitor--how can you possibly expect your prospects to do so?

  • Have a simple (i.e. one sentence) message that encapsulates what you do better than anyone else.
  • Know the three to five problems or challenges you KNOW your solution can uniquely solve.
  • Use customer stories that highlight the before and after contrast as proof that your solution works.

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IMAGE: zigazou76/Flickr
Last updated: May 15, 2013

GEOFFREY JAMES | Columnist

Geoffrey James is an author, speaker, and award-winning blogger. Originally a system architect, brand manager, and industry analyst inside two Fortune 100 companies, he's interviewed over a thousand successful executives, managers, entrepreneurs, and gurus to discover how business really works. His most recent book is Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know.

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.



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