Seven Deadly Sins of Sales Presentations

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of communicating effectively in sales presentations. Prospects aren’t just buying a product, they’re also buying you. Or, if your presentation skills aren’t as good as your rivals’, they’re NOT buying you. Today, sellers are giving buyers more reasons NOT to buy from them than TO buy from them.

In many cases, you only, get one opportunity to give a winning presentation.

A sales presentation is an audition. Buyers tell us that they want three things from sellers: “Don’t waste my time, understand my situation, and solve my problem.” You succeed when you provide a solution-driven presentation that accomplishes those three things. Problem is, there are dozens of ways you can fail to communicate in a way that captures their attention and clearly communicate how your solutions can empower them to solve their most critical business problems.

Our SolutionSpeak presenter, Helen Talmadge, focuses on seven classic presentation mistakes that even seasoned veterans often make. And, she’ll reveal communication strategies that enhance your sales messages so they resonate more powerfully than your competitors’.

The seven deadly sins that salespeople make in presentations are:

  1. Inability to answer these three questions before you present. To whom am I presenting? Not just name and title, but what role they play in this opportunity. Where am I in the sales process? Is it the first call, or is this the last presentation to close the deal? What do I want to accomplish? Have a clearly defined goal of what you want to occur as a result of this presentation.
  2. Failure to capture your audience in a targeted, relevant way. Title slides and introductions don’t count as capturing them. Tell a story, show a video clip, use a visual aid, or make a bold statement. This is your opportunity to get their attention and differentiate yourself from the competition.
  3. Not connecting with your audience by answering their unspoken questions. Buyers have so many things running through their mind before your presentation, that it’s hard for them to focus or buy into what you are saying if you don’t use some audience connection tools, like letting them know what’s in it for them, right away.
  4. Using too much content and too many facts, figures, and research that you think is powerful and persuasive can actually hurt your presentation. Buyers have a saturation point with too much information. When they are overwhelmed, it’s hard to say “yes” because they aren’t sure what they are saying “yes’ to. Less really is more.
  5. Missing the payoff at the end of the presentation. End your presentation on a high note that will give the buyer chills. Do not end it by asking, “Are there any questions?“ Put the bookend on your presentation by paying off the capture.
  6. Lack of clearly defined action. Buyers can’t move to the next step in the sales process with you if they aren’t asked to. Have a plan of action after the presentation and ask them to take the next steps with you.
  7. Not adding value and credibility to your presentation by only reading off of all the slides. You provide no value if all you do is read slides and ask a few questions. You don’t need to show up at all – just email the deck to them. Buyers want to do business with sellers who can be a valuable resource for them. Show them how valuable you are by using flip charts and clear descriptive language instead of forty-nine PowerPoint slides full of text.


How You Sell Is the Last Advantage