I’m Done with Horrible Sales Presentations

(Blog #18 in the ongoing series derived from a book Harris DeWese wrote several years ago—“A Year of Selling Profitably.”)

The video below featuring a little boy who gives an inspirational speech to kids learning to ride a bike has gone viral. If you do nothing else today, I implore you to watch it and soak up some real inspiration. I get fired up every time I view the boy’s speech. You invest one minute and you get 10 years’ worth of motivation.

The video is appropriate to this blog because the next chapter in my book is titled “Building Effective Sales Presentations.” I wrote the book—“A Year of Selling Profitably”—in 1995. Since then, I have changed my mind on many, many subjects. Sales presentations is one of those subjects where my feeble old mind has been changed in a significant fashion.

[By the way, I had a CAT scan recently and it confirmed that there is brain matter present directly behind my eye brows and between my ears. My brain, what there is of it, looked suspiciously like those frightening tornado fronts where there are shades of green changing to bright orange then neon yellow moving to fire engine red and finally to a vivid purple.]

I used to believe that you called on a prospect and provided a “presentation.” You began by telling about your employer and what the company could do. This put a huge onus on the salesperson to speak in an organized, interesting, entertaining, complete and persuasive monologue. Envision this kind of presentation you have seen as Johnny Carson and David Letterman opened their shows.

There’s a problem. You are likely not as talented as Johnny or Dave and you don’t have Jay’s chin.

You have no timing.

You can’t deliver punch-lines; that is, if you could actually remember the punch-lines.

Harris DeWese is the author of "Now Get Out There and Sell Something." He is chairman/CEO at Compass Capital Partners and an author of the annual "Compass Report," the definitive source of info regarding printing industry M&A activity. DeWese has completed 100-plus printing company transactions and is viewed as the preeminent deal maker in the industry. He specializes in investment banking, M&A, sales, marketing and management services to printers.

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  • Kevin Nielsen

    Great video Harris. As for incurring wrath from your born-again readers, I imagine that’s more likely when you label Jesus Christ as a mere Bible character. 😉 Don’t tell me my favorite pundit is walking around with an un-regenerate heart? Not the kind of thing to put off until Manana.

  • Bill Gibson

    Thank you!