Every salesperson can think of a time when a sales presentation went terribly, horribly wrong. Maybe your laptop crashed and you couldn’t access your PowerPoint. Or perhaps you were told you only have ten minutes instead of the 30 originally promised.
Scary, yes? Fatal? Not necessarily. Plenty of salespeople have been forced to kiss their highly polished presentations goodbye and still walked out with the sale.
How does this happen? Truth is, slick presentations are seldom the reason you win a sale. In fact, they can actually cost you the sale.
Researchers asked a group of buyers to think back to a recent sales presentation. First they had the buyers rate the presentation. And then they asked: “Did you buy from this salesperson?”
Guess what? The more polished the presentation, the less likely they were to buy!
The reason: The polished presentations were fun to watch — but they put the seller, not the buyer, in the spotlight.
A great presentation isn’t about entertainment. It’s about helping buyers arrive at a decision. It makes buyers a part of the process and lets them design their own solution using your product or services. And when they design it, they’re likely to buy it.
The next time you sit down to plan a presentation with all the bells and whistles, stop and ask yourself, “Is this going to be about me and my product — or all about my customer?”
photo credit: James Jordan
Subscribe to Sales Blog
Get the latest research on workplace learning with weekly posts delivered to your inbox