Last week, a colleague told me how she had gone on a drive-along with a sales rep who was meeting a new prospect. The rep asked some good questions at the outset of the meeting and gained some valuable insight about what was important to the prospect (namely, profit margins).
However, after this initial good start, the rep fired up his PowerPoint program and walked through a canned presentation focused on his company. The presentation even included a slide showing their plant in Sweden! (The prospect is a locally owned business with one location.) Not once did the rep address profit margins in his presentation.
Walking into an initial discovery meeting with a prepared slide deck is killing your sales, and here’s why: It prevents you from discussing what is really important to your prospect, his unique situation. Yet, so many salespeople feel compelled to deliver a 25-slide presentation about their companies.
I worked with a client recently, who adamantly stated, “The most important slide in our deck is the one that shows our global client list.” Regardless of how much I tried to convince him otherwise, he refused to see that this information was essentially irrelevant to his prospects.