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Five Mista kes lnefFective Sa Ies


AAa ke

As a master of ceremonies for CEO sum mits, I have

viewed dozens of sa les presentations delive red by vendors to a gathering of these C-level executives. Vendors
?ay tens of thousands of dollars each to get in front of
this elite group of potential clientele to pitch their wares.

Here are five key mistakes the ineffective presenters make

(and what they could easily do to correct them):

Mistake #1: Starting the Presentation by Talking

About Your Company
The amateurs begin by delivering information like:
. When the com pany was founded
. Where it is located
. What prod ucts a nd services a re offered
hat awards they have won a nd certifications they

ave ea rn ed


les presentations do.

But why doesn't this work?

the presenter has not even given the prospect a

reason to ca re yet! Although the potentia I customer may
be smiling or nodding, he or she is probably thinking, "Yet
a nother sa les presentation ! So what? What's in it for me?
When will this dog and pony show be over?"
Beca use

',i 22

cou ld

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you do instead

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Mistake #2: Showing AII of the Products and

Services That You Offer
ln other words, expecting the customer to self-diagnose

their problems and

pick their own solution. lt's as though

the salesperson is sayingto himself or herself duringthe

presentation, "Certa in ly a mong the corn ucopia of offerings I am now spewing about, at least one should fittheir
bill. After all, I have a commission I need to make and
rea lly don't ca re wh ich product or service they choose.
Just pick one!"

stea d...


this seems like a logical place to start, since most


lnvite a rea l-life customer to sta rt you r presentation for

you. The prospect is more likely to bond with someone who
seems a whole lot more like themselves rather than someone whom they perceive to be yet a nother sa lesperson.

. How many customers they


By Ted Janusz

lf you can't have an actual customer begin your presentation, deliver a case study on their behalf Say something
like, "You knoW com pany X ca me to us beca use they had a
challenge, something thatyou may also be facing. When
we sta rted ta lking with them here is what we fou n d..."

Pullyour prospective customer into a story.

Mistake #3: Death by PowerPoint

Ma ny presenters use PowerPoint sim ply as a su bstitute
for note cards. They have slide after slide flash up on the
screen with bullet points and text that remind them

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a r keti n

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Five Mista kes lneffective Sa les

Presentations Ma ke

By Ted Jonusz

what to say next.

lack of collecting and usingtestimonials.

effect wou ld be sim ila r to going to a movie, a nd

rather tha n placing action on the screen to engage us,
the producer has simply elected to put the actors'scripts

Of cou rse, we expect you as the sa lesperson to say you're

great. But who else says so? ls it someone the potential
customer knows or trusts? ls it someone whose opinion
he or she values? That will always be worth more than
your own marketing puffery.

Th is

p on the screen.

stea d...

from Hollywood. Americans willingly spend

billions of dollars to go to the movies each year. Yet no

Take a lesson

one has ever spent even as much as a dime to see a PowerPoint presentation.
A movie tells a story.
Use PowerPoint

to provide images that reinforceyour

use of stories. Tell a story

a bout a customer. Ma ke the

customer (notyourself oryour company) the hero of
that story. Your potential customer will identify with the
customer and see how ifthey choose you,they too can
become the hero in their own story!

Mistake #4: Telling the Prospect About All the

Detailed Features of Your Products and Services
Chances are that if they really wanted to gain this information, they've a lrea dy done a Coogle

why celebrity endorsements ca n be so powerfu

(rather than the endorsement of that company's CEO).

Th is is

stea d...

Show the prospect what you r products or services did

for the customer in you r case study. lf possible, q ua ntify
the resu lts. Then have the customer expla in in their own
words what their relationship with you did for them. Discuss how their interactions with you solved their problems.

Nowyour potential customer will logically want to learn

more a bout you,you r com pa ny and you r prod ucts a nd
your services because they now view you as part of their
solution. Customers don't wa nt to buy the prod ucts a nd
services that you spent so much time in sales training
learning about. What they want to purchase instead are
solutions to their problems.

sea rch.

Why avoid these five critical sales presentation


stea d...

Discuss 'ind ustry trends.

show them that you a re knowledgeable about the marketplace. lllustrate how to conduct
a com pa rison between you r offerings a nd those of you r
com petitors, without bad-mouth ing the com petition.
r prospects a ren't probably suffering from a lack of
information. They can now get all of the information they
need on a ny product or service with the just few clicks
of a mouse. what they really need is an expert who can
interpret and give context to the information, Provide
va I ue. Even more irn porta ntly, provide epipha nies.

Mistake #5: Telling the Prospect why You Have the

Best Products and Services

what is the number one mistake most small businesses


According to marketing guru Dan Kennedy, the number

one marketing mistake he sees his customers make is a

www.PIAAgencyMa:rf( ihgGuide.corn

Ratherthan your prospect drifting off duringyour delivyou will find your audience become more engaged
with you. Once they become engaged,you r presentation
will become more of a casua I conversation a nd less of a
stilted monologue, puttingyou (and them) at ease.

But more importantly, once the prospect fi nds that you

have put the focus on them and their needs, and not on
your wants and desires, you will more likely get the sale. And
shou ld n't that be the objective of you r sa les presentation ?
Janusz has been honored to contribute articles to all seven
PIA Agency Marketing Cuides and has conducted
multiple webinarsfor PIA on marketing. Because Baby Boomers learn about and use social media dffirentlyfrom other
generations,Ted conducts his "Social Mediafor Baby Boomers"
workshopsfor insurance agents and insurance companies
who want to use social media to produce a bottom-line
impactfor their agencies and companies.



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