During a sales training workshop I conducted last week, we discussed the worst way to open a sales conversation, meeting, appointment or call (cold or warm) and that is to talk about your company.
This includes your background, history, number of locations, how long you have been in business, your client list, awards you may have won or anything else that is self-serving.
The same concept holds true for your slide decks. Most companies insist that their logo is prominently displayed on every single slide in the deck. And, it’s not uncommon for marketing departments to insert up to a dozen slides in the beginning of the deck, all of which focus on your organization.
Needless to say, this was a tough concept for some of the participants to swallow. I heard a lot of “Yeah, but…” comments such as:
“Our marketing team says we have to open with those slides”
“Our prospect’s don’t always know who we are so we need to tell them right away”
“It shows how diverse we are”
“My boss says every presentation has to start this way”
But, here’s the deal…your prospects don’t care about that stuff. They don’t want to know about your company or your business.
They only care about THEIR business and THEIR problems which means the faster you laser in on key business issues they face (related to your solution), the quicker you will get their attention and stand out from your competition.
Sounds simple, right?
I will be the first to admit that it can be tough to get others in your organization to change to this approach. One company I used to work with started every sales presentation with a slide titled, “The Four Reasons We Exist” and no matter how much I encouraged them to eliminate this slide, the Sales Manager refused, stating, “This is really important and our prospects need to know it.”
But, I can say that during my 12 years of private practice, I have never had a prospect say, “I didn’t see anything about your company in this presentation” nor have I lost a sale because I did not include my company background, client list, etc.
Here’s a suggestion that might help shake you from this habit…
Ask a few of your existing clients if the detailed information about your company influenced their original buying decision. Unless you are dealing with a highly analytic individual (who ALWAYS wants more info) the chances are that client will tell you that your corporate marketing slides, brochures or review of your company’s awards, history, etc., did not affect their decision.
If you need more persuasion, here is what happened after last week’s class.
One of the participants in last week’s workshop decided he would put this idea to practical use to see if it actually worked.
That night, he reached out to a prospect who he had been trying to connect with unsuccessfully for several months. His previous approach had been similar to one above, but this time, he changed his strategy. Once he introduced himself, he asked the prospect a few questions about his business, and after a short conversation, he secured an appointment with that prospect for the following week.
He admitted that he was surprised but he said, “I now realize how difficult I’ve been making it for myself to get appointments and meetings.”
I encourage you to focus more on your prospect the next time you need to give a sales presentation or make a sales call. I guarantee they won’t mind or object!
Discover what else you can do to create and deliver a dynamic and compelling sales presentation that will motivate your prospect to take action and buy from you. Check it out here.