Archives For boring presentations

Photo by David Stelzl

The purpose of a sales presentation is to sell; to convince the prospect that you have a solution to a problem that they in fact have, and that you are the best problem solver around.  The fee in turn, must be commensurate with the value delivered.

But here’s the problem:  First, 95% of the possible prospects in your territory don’t necessarily agree that they have a problem – or at least have a problem that you specialize in solving.  Second, most presentations are informational, offering no compelling value.  They are not centered on solving a known problem.   The other 5% of the people out there admit they have a problem, but have no reason to believe your solution is any better than the next guy.   In this case you lack differentiation.

Since most presentations look pretty much the same, the client’s propensity is to continue doing business with the known quantity unless in incumbent’s price is severely undercut.   Don’t overestimate your brand or uniqueness based on things everyone has, or at least say they have.  Start treating your presentation as a commercial, or perhaps an infomercial.  Put more time into making a great presentation and you’ll waste less time on unqualified meetings.

© 2011, David Stelzl

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The building to the left sits on the roof of the Divyershee Chambers tower in Bangalore.  This is where our training classes were held and what a great view during breaks!   We completed our final day of training today, focusing on presentation skills.  Here is how we do it:

1. First, the message is created.  We broke up into teams, reviewed each person’s best executive level presentation material, and then selected one to modify.  Each team works through their presentation applying the concepts from the three day class. Most find their presentation states the obvious and then moves to a feature sell.  This is not executive level material.

2. I then worked with individual teams to identify their main objective for education.  Each presentation starts with a clear strategic aim; what are you trying to education executives on.  If it is your product, expect to be delegated back down to IT.  Once identified, we apply Hollywood’s best plot concepts to the presentation.  It must grab the audience, interrupt their current thinking, and provide answers to knowledge gaps that are created through the presentation. This drives them to action.

3.  Stories are used to illustrate and create visual concrete concepts for the audience.

4. The close must leave them wanting something.  There must be an urgency to action.

It is rare that I see this type of presentation right out of the gate, but why?  Don’t the marketing groups that create these sales tools understand marketing science?  Why should a sales rep spend months trying to break into an account, then more months working up the chain of command, only to show up with a boring presentation.  The company that figures this out will ultimately win.

With this in mind, I am headed to Germany tonight at 2:00 am.  I’m sure it will be an exciting plane ride!

© 2010, David Stelzl