… an ‘About Us’ section?
You know, those 3-4 (or more) PowerPoint slides about your firm – all of the great services you provide and your incredible staff back at the office. Most sales decks do. But here’s the problem with that…
The potential buyers listening to your sales presentation DON’T CARE!!
Sorry to spring it on you like that… but they really don’t! Those bleary-eyed prospects sitting around the conference table don’t care because they already know about you firm. If they didn’t, you wouldn’t be at the table in the first place.
So, skip the self-congratulatory platitudes and use your time at the head of the table to answer the one question everyone in the room is asking…
“How can this salesperson help me solve my problems?”
In the research industry, biz dev people spend too much of their time telling potential buyers all about their research services. But here’s the problem, these companies don’t have research problems. They have business problems that they need research to help solve, so talk to them in those terms. Not what you do… but how what you do can help them.
So, instead of starting your sales presentation with an ‘About Us’ intro… jump right into their problem and show them how you…
- Understand what their key problem is
- Understand the impact of that problem on their business
- Would address the problem for them
- Have done that same kind of thing for other clients
Do that… and you will have their attention. In fact, your sales presentation might even get them sitting on the edge of their seats (instead of nodding off), because you’re showing them how you’re going to make their lives better!
And as you’re showing them how you’d solve their problem, you can talk about the services you’ll use to do it and the staff that will be implementing those services (you know… that stuff you used to talk about during the first 3-4 slides!).
Understanding their problems
Of course, they key to being successful with the above process is clearly understanding your sales prospects’ needs. There are two ways to do that:
- Pay attention to those challenges that are endemic in a given industry. For example, in the retail industry, how are those companies dealing with “the Amazon effect?” In healthcare, how can hospitals increase revenue from commercially-insured patients, rather than Medicare/Medicaid patients? Think about the universal issues in the markets you serve.
- By asking good, probing questions of your sales prospect during your exploratory conversations. You need to make sure you clearly understand their pain points… and keep probing until you do. Then, you’ll know whether or not what you do is a fit for them. If it is, then you can be very pointed in how you talk about it moving forward, including during the sales presentation.
Step 1: Do your homework… whether it’s developing a deeper understanding of those universal problems in the industries you serve or crafting a series of probing questions to help you better understand each prospects’ challenges.
Step 2: Update your sales presentation… get rid of the ‘About Us’ section and be prepared to jump into the prospect’s problem right off the bat.
And if you really feel like you need an ‘About Us’ section, condense your comments onto one slide and move it the very end of the deck. With any luck, you’ll never get to it!