After looking at innumerable sales presentations I am convinced that they are developed by marketing departments who are trained to sell to the broad audience but don’t understand the effect it will have on the specific buyer. My first reaction as I look at the vast array of self-congratulatory slides is, “Who cares?” And if that thought can’t be answered in a positive way for the prospective client, then the slide should be altered or removed.
For example, many organizations are justifiably proud or their national or international presence and they will usually show a map that demonstrates this. If the prospect has a need for this kind of coverage then the slide is useful. However, all too often we see a prospect that does business statewide being shown a slide that exhibits a national reach. We think this brings up some uncomfortable questions in the mind of the prospect. Questions such as: How much more am I paying to support this nationwide structure? Or, Will a small company like mine get lost in this big organization? And we all know that a confused buyer hesitates when it is time to make a decision.
Another area of concern is showing slides that discuss features and benefits in which the client has shown no interest. Say, for example, that your product has features A, B, C, D, E, and F. During your discussions with the client they have shown that A, C and D are of crucial importance to their buying decision. Your experience has shown you that feature F will be important to them in the future and is a real differentiator from your competition. We suggest that you only show them features A, C, D and F. Don’t waste their time and add confusion by showing all 6 features!
A third area where presentations are plagued with too much information is the client list or logo page. We feel that unless this list is well vetted it can leave the wrong impression. Client lists that include competitors or organizations that are dissimilar in size or process can also give a prospect the feeling that your customer experiences are too different from them. Again causing confusion in their mind
So look critically at every slide that you are going to show to a prospect and determine if it expresses a point of view that is in concert with their concerns. If not, get rid of it. Most presentations are too long anyway. Narrow your presentation down to only the information that is important to the audience. You will maintain their interest and minimize confusion.