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Avoid this deadly PowerPoint blunder

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What is one of the biggest mistakes salespeople make when delivering PowerPoint presentations? Simply put: too many slides.

Too product/service-oriented. Most salespeople totally miss the point of their presentations, thinking that the more information they can cover about their company and its products/services, the better off they’ll be. As a result, their presentations balloon to 40 to 60 slides.

And what happens when they meet with their prospects? They feel compelled to cover every single slide in excruciating, time-wasting detail. If they cover a fraction of their slides in an hour’s time, they think they’ve done a good job.

If you’re guilty of this blunder, your PowerPoint presentation is not helping you win any business. Instead, it’s hurting you, because your prospects are bored to tears—never a good start to a relationship. Your prospects probably see you as another self-serving salesperson mouthing her way through her pitch—just another face in the crowd.

PowerPoint presentation tips. If you do a PowerPoint presentation, trim it to 10 slides or fewer. Put your company overview in a handout for prospects to review later. What you want to do in your very precious time together is have a genuine conversation about your prospect’s business objectives, key priorities and strategic initiatives as they relate to your products or services.

Don’t sell. Instead, act as if they’ve already selected you and you’re sitting down for your first important meeting together. If you behave as if they’re already working with you, it will be easier for them to envision themselves doing so. That way, their decision to work with you will seem like a done deal.

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Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling, Selling to Big Companies and Agile Selling. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.


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