Sat in on a sales presentation today. Don’t know that I could more highly recommend Jeffrey Gitomer’s book(s) for folks that do this for a living. The audience was convinced in 90 seconds of what they needed to know — this was not the product or vendor they wanted to do business with.He was a relatively good speaker, lively, personable, and I think was convinced the product was a thing of value. But I don’t know that anyone ever got past the presentation, sales no-no’s, and non-convincing statements.To wit, these are direct quotes (and my imagined response of the audience):

  • I’ll just let the screens do the talking (I came to hear you)
  • I hope I get to my screens (I’d rather hear a point)
  • I’ve got one for you, or I hope I do (he didn’t)
  • You’ll see that in the presentation (show it to me!)
  • Hope you’ll bear with me as I talk about that (did I want to hear it?)
  • I hope we have a tool that might help (if you don’t know, why should I listen?)
  • I’m sorry you can’t see this from where you are (they why are you showing it to me?)
  • This screen talks about… (and you’re reading it to me?)
  • asking: You pronounce your company XYZ? (what other in depth research did you do?)
  • Stop me when I’m going astray here (this was 23 minutes in)
  • I’ll give you some & read it to you (he had one copy for 6 people)
  • What I should have told you rather than you asking me (was…you don’t know what I want?)
  • You’d think I’d have brought that to show (or at least not mentioned it)
  • Let me show you what I had planned to show you (why don’t you show me what I want to see instead)
  • If we’re done, we’re done (comment when informed the meeting was 30 minutes, and he was 10 over and folks were waiting for the room)
  • Two more to show you… (5 minutes after being informed he was over)

I’m sorry to say this sort of computer-based presentation that sticks to the script is the norm, and not the exception. I wonder about the success rate of such presentations, but I know it can’t be high. Had this presentation started with a 5-minute discussion of the audience’s needs, then it could have been directed to meet them, and further discussion about why this product approach could work. As it was, the entire presentation was about other solutions, all of which had almost no direct characteristic with the pitched group.At least he got to deduct the mileage, and the rate just went up.

Know your audience, or get to know them, and present to them and their needs.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This