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.
You don’t have a staff of writers who spend the day writing your monologue. You don’t have someone who prepares your cue cards and then hold the cards while you present to your prospect.
I have made hundreds (perhaps low thousands) of team sales calls with failing or rookie salespeople and witnessed their horrible sales PRESENTATIONS.
No one was ever organized. My sales minions were rarely interesting. Most of them failed at being entertaining. Of course, you guessed it, these folks’ presentations were mostly incomplete and they were not remotely persuasive.
My next blog will detail the advantages of my new approach to sales calls—it’s a sales conversation, and I will discuss the points where most salespeople fail. One notable failing is in the art and science of persuasiveness that was first taught to us by Socrates. If it wasn’t Socrates, then it was one of the Biblical characters like Jesus Christ or Moses. I’m including them here so as not to incur the wrath of my born-again readers.
See you next week. In the meantime, try to spend the week out there selling something. Your owner has press payments to send to the bank.
Oh! Remember to start the day by watching the little boy’s video. You owe the MañanaMan a real big thank you.
Now, get out there and sell something!
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.