How To Avoid The Biggest Presentation Mistakes

Written by Sean McPheat | Linkedin thumb

Clients bored during presentationMany salespeople tell us they enjoy presenting solutions to prospects, but are disappointed with the way they are received.

One of the most participative parts of our sales courses involve areas where solutions are presented to prospects, and we can almost guarantee that some of the delegates will make similar mistakes to each other.  Here are the four biggest presentation mistakes salespeople make and how you can avoid them:

1) Emphasising the visuals too much: Many salespeople read from their screens or handouts or brochures and lose the connection with the prospect. If visuals sold products, we wouldn’t need you! Just make the visual part of the presentation, not all of it. Make them enhance your offer, not BE the offer.

2) Lack of preparation: This will always let you down. There’s no need to script it, but you must know what the main points are, what’s coming next and, crucially, what the benefits are to the prospect. There must be a logical, progressive flow. The prospect has to see a development of ideas that he can follow and believe in. Without the adequate amount of preparation, the prospect will lose confidence that this is really the answer to his problems.

3) Too much information versus not enough persuasion: Remember that your presentation should answer a need that the prospect has, not allow him to be a University Challenge contestant answering questions on your product! Your persuasion technique should allow him to see how you will improve his business in some way, and help his clients to do more business with him.

4) Too reactive: Most presentations we see almost attract objections because they don’t cover what is the most important central needs of the prospect. The presentation of solutions should only be made after the diagnosis of the real problems have been uncovered. When you know what the real problems are, you can anticipate the objections before they occur and build them into your presentation. If price is an issue, you could say something like: “Now, we know many clients of ours have questioned our prices before they bought, so I will now cover why this investment will really work for you, based on what we discussed earlier”. Then cover exactly what the prospect questioned during your diagnosis of his situation.

By overcoming these biggest presentation mistakes, you give yourself a great chance to prove your value and worth to your prospect with information that will show how you are best for their company. And that can only be good for business!

Happy selling!


Sean McPheat

Sean McPheat
Managing Director

MTD Sales Training

450 sales questions free report

Originally published: 11 October, 2010

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