Are you blowing your sales chances on the first date..?

Picture the scene…

After much time wooing a wonderful potential partner, they agree to a first date. You sit down, pour the wine and then you start talking…and talking…and talking. You throw everything you can at your potential life partner – when you were born, where you live, your parents, your education, your career to date. In an attempt to truly impress, you start sharing positive feedback from previous lovers.

Your carefully scripted and rehearsed monologue continues for some time…

Meanwhile your hot date can’t get a word in edge ways and so it’s of little surprise that they politely finish the wine, thank you for a wonderful evening and then walk off into the sunset, never to talk to you again.

Of course, you’d never do that on a date, yet most sales presentations follow this very peculiar format. You talk, they listen. If your audience has the temerity to ask you questions along the way, you politely ask them to please be quiet, that you will cover off that particular part of your story later on and if not, there will be plenty of time at the end for the Q&A.

Madness…but way too commonplace to ignore. It may even be happening in your sales presentations right now.

The reason is pretty straightforward – the technology tail is wagging the dog. Worse still, sales enablement teams allow this to happen. Due to the perceived limitations of tools like PowerPoint, most sales presentations are developed in a linear style – you start at slide one and continue sequentially until you reach the end (or your audience politely excuses themselves). By their very nature, linear decks encourage a monologue approach to presenting. You wouldn’t take this approach with someone on a personal basis, so why in the world would you do it with a prospect that you’ve worked long and hard to get in front of?

Sales presentations shouldn’t be ‘presentations’, they should be conversations.

Salespeople should be supported with interactive toolkit presentations that enable conversations, not stifle them. The ability to, within a couple of clicks, access a case study that illustrates the point of discussion, is incredibly powerful. Equally, being able to respond to questions quickly, easily and within context drives the sales conversation forward (and is a hell of a lot more engaging than asking for your audience to be quiet until the end of the presentation).

Making your sales presentation both more flexible and audience centric is a game changer. Your messages get heard, understood/challenged and ultimately actioned on. Striving for sales success with a tool that blocks out the most important stakeholder – the audience – is insanity.

So, ask yourself one simple question – are your current sales presentations helping or hindering that sales conversation? If it’s the latter, it’s probably worth talking…just like our friends at Temenos did:

I’ve just uploaded the Sales Toolkit Presentation onto my tablet and it’s awesome! So easy to set up and navigate – thank you!!! Simply awesome…

VP of Product Marketing, Temenos

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