Sales Presentations: Do Yours Suffer From Information Overload?

Posted on 06/30/2016 in Sales Presentation Skills

Salespeople tend to make four common mistakes when making a sales presention.

  1. Information overload!  Too many slides, too much talking, too lo-o-o-o-ng.  The result is that you lose the customer's attention and interest.  If you don't agree, ask yourself this question: when was the last time you heard a sales presentation that was too short? Avoid information overload by asking this question:"What information does this person need in order for me to accomplish my objective(s)?" Edit your remarks, and then re-ask the same question and delete what you don't need. Brevity makes the presentation more impactful.  If you don't agree, count how many words are in Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, the most memorable speech in American history.

  2. Opening Remarks are weak or non-existent. Salespeople tend to dive right into the body of the presentation and don't give enough time and attention to their "opening remarks."  Yet, numerous studies have shown that audiences remember the opening remarks much more than the rest of the presentation.  What does that suggest in terms of planning and organizing an effective sales presentation? Plan your opening remarks with two objectives in mind:  first, getting the other person's attention; and, second, building rapport.  And, most importantly, rehearse it out loud.  If you don't rehearse anything else, you MUST rehearse your opening.  It will only take you a minute or less but it is the most important minute in the entire presentation.

  3. Presentation feels canned rather than tailored for the customer.  Don't put your audience to sleep by using the same boilerplate PowerPoint presentation. Be sure to tailor the content of the presentation. For planning purposes divide your presentation into three sections:  the Opening, the Body, and the Closing.  Rather than spend time planning your presentation in general, spend time instead planning each section, including where you can incorporate customer-specific details into each section. 

  4. The Presentation doesn't end powerfully. We often observe concluding remarks that are too brief and lack impact.  For example, a typical closing remark is "... thank you.  Do you have any questions?"  This can be radically improved, for example, by using an open-ended question instead.  Start strong and end strong if you want to improve the effectiveness of your presentations.

Contact us if you are interested in discussing a customized Sales Presentation Skills (for newer salespeople or sales support personnel) or Presenting with Impact Workshop (for experienced salespeople or sales managers). One-on-one sales coaching is also a great way for individual salespeople to improve their sales presentation skills. 


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