5 Sales Presentation Mistakes to Avoid

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Gabrielle Hughes
Content Marketing Manager

Getting a prospect’s attention is hard enough on its own – and once you’ve succeeded in capturing interest, you not only need to hold it, but you must convince them to buy.

Because most people aren’t rushing to part with their money, your sales presentation during the “convincing” stage is absolutely critical. Whether in person or shared visually, here are a few tips to ensure your prospecting and connecting efforts don’t go to waste.

Text-heavy slides

The easiest way to present something is to write your entire script on the slides that you share. However, if you merely read your slides to your prospects, they will either tune out completely or become annoyed at your inability to dynamically present.

So how much information should each slide contain to ensure buyers connect with your message faster? Minimize content to no more than 3 bullets per slide, with one line per bullet. Use a larger font, and try to present a new slide (at least) every four minutes. And remember, your deck is there to help you visually, not feed you lines.

Not appealing to your prospects

Think about anytime you’re being sold to. Are you more likely to respond to bare product information and feature specifics? Or, would you rather hear your sales rep deliver a tale that makes you the protagonist of the buying journey?

At the end of the day, buyers aren’t concerned with learning about your product’s bells and whistles. If they can’t imagine themselves using the product, they’re not going to buy it. Craft a story that focuses on value and details how your product will impact their business results – and don’t be afraid to get creative!

Saying, “I’m sorry”

Whether it’s technical difficulties, late arrivals, or screen-sharing mishaps, mistakes are often unavoidable in sales presentations. However, this is not an opportunity to play victim if something goes wrong.

Customers like to work with authority figures and apologizing right off the bat can make the prospect perceive the entire presentation in a negative light. If you do fumble, play it off as if nothing happened, or find a question you can ask your prospect to divert their attention while you quickly resolve the issue.

Having no focus

Determining why your prospect would want to buy is one of the most crucial parts of the selling process. Before your meeting, make sure you understand your buyer’s specific areas of interest and tailor your presentation based on what they care about most.

How do you do this? First, think about your initial conversation with the prospect. Did you use your discovery call to listen for pain points? If you left with a firm grasp of what their needs are, you can pain map to determine the problem at hand, its impacts, and how they make the prospect feel. From there, you’ll be fully prepared to provide a unique sales presentation that presents your product as a painkiller, necessary to act as a solution to a variety of issues.

Neglecting next steps

Even if you gave a flawless, specific sales presentation that your prospect thoroughly enjoyed, none of it will matter if you don’t agree on next steps before parting ways.

Do you want the prospect to tell you if they’re interested in moving forward? Do you need to get other members of their team involved? Are you going to reach out with more information? Make sure you establish a clear call to action that will keep the ball rolling.

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