What to do with corporate’s generic sales presentation

It is not unusual, within companies both big and small, for someone in “corporate” to provide the sales team with a generic overview presentation.

It’s a power point deck that contains many slides with many details regarding your company’s history, features, benefits, resources and capabilities. I can imagine an executive creating a presentation for his team and adding slide after slide thinking to himself “well I can’t leave that out, and they have to talk about this…”

But there are two key factors that work against the corporate generic presentation. The first is that despite all of the great features and capabilities you offer, the prospect will likely only hear the first three that you talk about. After that their eyes will glaze over and their mind will drift away (read about the rule of three here).

Second, it is likely that your prospect has absolutely no interest in most of your features and capabilities (and I guarantee they have no interest in looking at a black and white photo of you company’s founder and hearing about he started your corporation eighty five years ago with just ten dollars. A nice story? Yes. Relevant to their buying decision? No.) They only want to hear about the specific capabilities that will help them solve their problems or reach their goals. Which means most of your generic content is irrelevant to them and irrelevant content is the death knell of a presentation.

A prospect once told me that one of my competitors had delivered a generic overview presentation that contained 100 slides. Can you imagine having to sit through that? The vast majority of the content was of no interest to the prospect and there was no special emphasis on their hot button issues. That competitor was quickly eliminated from the RFP process.

But we can guarantee our content is relevant if we customize each presentation to each prospect. To do this we must spend the early part of the sales process asking the prospect questions and understanding their situation. Your goal is to identify three ways that you can improve their situation and then design a presentation that proves you can deliver on those improvements (read about how to prove it here).

Your presentation shouldn’t be about your capabilities, it should be about your prospect’s challenges and goals. Prove to them that you can solve their challenges, that you can help them hit their goals and only present content that is directly relevant to them…and toss out that generic corporate overview.


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