I don’t know about you, but I’ve sat through dozens of sales meetings and appointments and in many cases—if not most—have been bored to death. A few years ago, during one particular sales call, the salesperson fired up his laptop and walked me through a 38-slide PowerPoint presentation. Thirty minutes later, he still hadn’t answered the question rattling around in my mind: How can you help me?
Obviously this guy believed that “telling was selling,” but I had tuned out by the tenth or eleventh slide. It took some effort to not to snore in front of him, although I was very tempted. Here are four more ways to bore your prospects:
5. Speak in a monotone. OK, I know not everyone has an expressive personality like me, but droning on in a monotone is one of the fastest ways to put people to sleep. I once attended an educational workshop facilitated by an incredibly bright person. Unfortunately, his dull tone made it exceptionally difficult to stay focused.
6. Use the same pace and pitch during your entire presentation. A steady pace and pitch can also lull people to sleep. It is critical to change your pace from time to time. Speed up; slow down. Increase your volume; speak softly. Change things up and make your sales presentations more interesting or you’ll cause your prospects to fall asleep.
7. Read directly from your slide deck. I can’t believe how many salespeople still read everything on their slides. It’s like they have no idea what to say. Perhaps their companies think they can’t remember anything, so they pack everything onto slides to make it easy for them. But, honestly, I don’t know anyone who has been subjected to this type of presentation who later said, “I loved listening to that salesperson read her slides to me.” Have you?
A more effective approach is to use each slide as a talking point. Use graphics instead of text and make each slide an individual point. Stop reading from your PowerPoint presentation and engage your prospects in conversation.
8. Use these words: “I,” “we,” “me,” “us,” “our.” Every time you use one of those words you are focusing on you or your company instead of your prospect. But what do your prospects want to hear? They want to hear their own names.
Change your presentation to include “you” and “your,” and you will keep your prospect’s attention much longer.
You may have your own “don’t” to add. But if you can avoid these boring blunders, you’ll be halfway to landing your next client.
Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips: