Customer Experience News & Trends

6 mistakes that kill presentations

Make these mistakes with prospective customers, and you’ll probably lose them.

Customers continually cite these problems with salespeople and their presentations:

  1. They don’t prepare properly so they go into a presentation without understanding the prospect’s business. They forget that most presentations are won in preparation, not in the sales call.
  2. They offer solutions before they have a clear understanding of the prospect’s problems. So they base their presentation on what they think is important instead of what their prospects want. Top salespeople never try to solve a problem without the right information.
  3. They take control of the conversation, thinking it’s the best way to move to a successful close. Top salespeople listen more than they talk. When they do speak, it’s about prospect problems, concerns and goals. They also take notes to make sure they have a clear understanding of prospect needs.
  4. They don’t customize the presentation for the prospect. They show up and give a canned presentation with no consideration for the specific customer.
  5. They don’t identify their competition before making the presentation. If they have a competitive advantage, they’re not aware of it.
  6. They fail to ask for the order so they don’t get it, no matter how persuasive their presentation has been. The goal of every presentation is to close the sale. Top salespeople either achieve that goal or identify the next step that will bring them to a successful close.

Adapted from The Ultimate Sales Machine (Penguin Group, NY) by Chet Holmes. Mr. Holmes is a sales consultant and trainer with more than 1,000 clients, including NBC, Citibank and Warner Brothers.

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