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Recently a business owner that I coach called me to briefly discuss sales presentations. He had just finished reading a chapter in Mike Weinberg's Sales Management Simplified book about a sales rep. The rep was so good that Weinberg said he actually would have paid to listen to the sales rep's presentation! The owner humbly said, "Mine aren't that good but I'd like them to be. Would you consider writing a blog on this topic?"

Candidly, the owner I coach sales presentations and results are outstanding and he has annual franchise award trips and trophies to prove it. But the pursuit of perfection is part of a successful owner's DNA. I'm honored to tackle the topic. It's relevant and timely. If you are not satisfied with your presentations to sign up conversion ratios or number of overall activations, then this blog's for you!

Before I dive into the deep end of the sales presentation pool, let me start with the obvious. 

According to IDC, 57% of B2B prospects and customers state that their sales rep was not prepared for the first sales meeting. There are no sales presentation shortcuts! If you're not properly prepared for your presentations, then don't be surprised if they don't convert into sales. To be brutally blunt, you got what you deserved. Please don't ask the customer to tell you about their company. You've just proved you weren't prepped. Proper preparation prevents poor performance. 

Now let's get after it!

What separates good sales presentations from great ones? What are the types of presentations prospects would pay to hear?

1. Great sales presentations are not about having the "same conversation in different ways." They are about having "a different conversation." 

Years ago Dominos pizza sales were stalled. They could have had the same conversation their competitors were having but in different ways. Better ingredients, buy one get one free, buy a large and get free breadsticks, blah, blah, blah. Same conversation in different ways is cute, but doesn't hack it in a cut-throat commodity business. 

They decided to have a "DIFFERENT CONVERSATION." Dominos determined they weren't really in the pizza business. They were in the delivery business. This was a different conversation. You didn't have to leave your couch to get your comfort food. You could have your pizza delivered to your door in 30 minutes before the opening kickoff of your favorite football team or it was free. Their competitors were talking sauces and side dishes. They were talking delivery to your door. Different conversation. Sales skyrocketed. 

Netflix crushed the competition with a "different conversation." They could have gotten creative and said the same things in different ways from their cable companies and television media mogul competitors. Instead they changed the conversation. It was no longer "Entertainment Content Options." It was "Entertainment ON DEMAND." They were having a totally different conversation than their competitors. It took their sales story/presentation from average to awesome. Sales and subscriptions skyrocketed. 

If you are a DHL rep having the same conversation as the UPS and Fed Ex rep you'll be pinned in by price. Your sales presentation runs the risk of being dead on arrival. Change the conversation and you'll change your sales conversion ratios. 

2. Great sales presentations are not about your company. They are about the customer!

Stop talking about your company. Mike Weinberg in #SalesTruth says it best when he states, "Customers do NOT care what you do, how much you love your company or your product, or how long you've been in business. They want to know what is in it for them. They could not care less about your "offerings" (products and services). They want to know what we will achieve for them." 

In 1985 Saturn Corporation registered as a subsidiary of General Motors. The thought was to have a car that was about the customer, not GM. No hassle pricing (biggest customer complaint) and throw a party at the point of purchase. Buying a car is a big deal. It should be enjoyable and celebrated. This was not about GM. It was not about Saturn car features and benefits. This experiment was strictly about the customer. Make it easy to buy. And celebrate the occasion for the customer. Sales skyrocketed! People loved the "no hassle" purchase process and loved celebrating their new car purchase with balloons and cake in the showroom. 

The year Saturn deviated from the customer and started talking about features and benefits is the day sales started declining. Today Saturn is dissolved. It's not because it was a crappy car. It was good, basic transportation at a decent pricing point. They quit making it about the customer. 

Keep your presentations about the customer! Their pain. Their gain. Their goals. Their customers.

3. Great sales presentations are about STORIES not statistics!

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Your potential customer doesn't care about your company's stats (how many widgets you've sold, how many alliances and partners you have, and on and on). They care about their story and the stories of other companies similar to theirs that you've helped. There's a reason why testimonials and ratings are the dominant drivers in today's world of sales. Share stories! In doing so, your sales presentations will drive more sales. And who knows, maybe they'll even pay to hear your presentation by buying from you!

And as always, here's a value added resource on today's topic. Marketing guru, Andy Raskin wrote about the greatest sales deck he had ever seen. His article about Zuora's sales presentation deck went viral. He has some powerful insights that will improve your sales presentations. Enjoy! 

The Greatest Sales Presentation I've Ever Seen!

Topics: sales coaching, Sales, sales habits

Dan Whitfield

Written by Dan Whitfield

Dan is dedicated to "coaching up" small business owners and leaders of growth-oriented sales organizations. His goal is to help you get where you want to go. Faster.