I went to a home improvement show not long ago. It was an eye-opening experience – and not in a good way.

At one booth, they were selling new bathrooms. “I don’t need a new bathroom,” I said.

“Great,” the salesman said. “So what we do is, we come out and make a mold of your old tub, and the new one fits right over the old one, and you won’t have that mildew in your grout anymore. How’s next Tuesday?”

A few booths down, a woman shoved a vacuum cleaner handle in my hand and invited me to vacuum a rug. “Look how much it sucks!” she said.

On and on it went. Would I like a new sunroom? Hardwood floors? A nice designer switchplate? Can’t afford it. Already got ’em. Don’t want one. Well, can we show them to you anyway?

Now, don’t get me wrong. It was entertaining. The guy with the steam mop actually made me laugh out loud. But I didn’t buy.

Why? Because none of these presentations had a thing to do with me. They were solving problems I didn’t have.

Now, I know you would never pitch your product like you’re working a game stand at a carnival. But even for the best salespeople, it’s easy to lose sight of the real objective of a sales presentation. You have all these wonderful solutions and you just can’t wait to tell someone. Before you do, make sure that someone has a problem you can solve.

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