We’ve been in business for 8½ years… and in all that time, I have never given a single capabilities presentation. Why not? Because every prospect already knows what we do. If they didn’t, we wouldn’t have been invited in to present. How do they know? Simple… they’ve been to our website, downloaded our materials and checked us out on LinkedIn. They already know who we work with… it’s on our website. They know the areas where we’re subject matter experts. You guessed it… also on our website. So, if they already know all of that, why would we waste their time (and ours) re-presenting it to them?
I know, our business is not the same as your business. Fair enough. But it’s also not all that different. We provide a variety of professional services to B2B buyers… just like you.
If a potential buyer reaches out to you, it’s not to learn about your services, it’s to find out if you can solve their problems. That’s it! So, make ‘problem solving’ the focus of your presentations.
And what problem(s) are you solving? In some cases, there are universal problems that nearly every company in certain industry segments will have. (For example, all hospital executives want to improve their ‘payer mix’… to have more commercially-insured patients and less with Medicare and Medicaid.) But in most cases, you’ll need to ask. You’ll need to explore and uncover. That is, you’ll need to ask a bunch of questions… listen… and keep drilling down until you find out what the problem is. Ask enough of the right questions and the buyer will tell you everything you need to know.
Which means… a capabilities presentation (can we now call them ‘problem-solving presentations’?) should not be your first real touchpoint with a perspective buyer, like they often are today. You must first go through the questioning process to truly understand what you’re getting into and the problems to focus on… and build your presentation around that.
Hint: Your clients don’t have research problems… they have business problems that they need research to help solve. So, focus your presentation on their business problems.
Here’s the outcome… instead of standing in front of a buyer and starting your presentation with,
“Thanks for having me here today. I’d like to take the next hour telling you how awesome we are and all of the awesome things we do…”,
it will sound more like,
“Thanks for having me here today. I understand you’re struggling with innovating new product ideas (or whatever their particular problem is). I want to talk with you today about how we can help you solve that problem… and how we’ve done that for other similar companies…”
Think that will grab their attention?
One final thought… if you still feel compelled to share some ‘About Us’ facts, do this: first, condense all of it down to one slide and then secondly, put that slide at the very end of your presentation. If you’re lucky, you’ll never get to it!