I have probably reviewed more than one hundred corporate PowerPoint sales presentations in the past year alone. Not only do most look the same, they use the same terminology to describe their company’s unique advantages. You could take slides from one company’s presentation and insert them in another’s and no one would notice. They are all fact-based infomercials that approach customers in the same stimulus-response manner. In Pavolian terms, the vendors have rung the dinner bell so many times that the dog refuses to get off the couch to check his bowl.
Here are my top five corporate PowerPoint sales presentations mistakes below. I’ll use the USDA Food Pyramid to illustrate each of these points. The Department of Agriculture introduced the food pyramid in 1992 as way to show the recommended intake of the six different food groups. Last week, they replaced the much maligned pyramid with the “food plate” (seen in #5).
Mistake #1 - They are boring to look at and aesthetically unappealing.
Mistake #2 - They emphasize the wrong message because they aren’t customized to the specific sales situation (fats and oils must be the most important food because they are on top!).
Mistake # 4 They include overly complex slides that are impossible for salespeople to successfully deliver or prospective customers to follow. They have so many big-picture ideas and so much animation that only one person in the entire company can give the presentation effectively--its creator.
Perhaps the greatest single moment to influence customers during the sales cycle is during the corporate sales presentation. The direct approach to the customer presentation is to talk about me, me, me: my company, my products, my products’ features and functions. The indirect approach is based upon you, you, you: translating how you have helped other customers in the prospect’s situation. Describing how customers successfully use your products is more compelling than detailed discussions about how your products work. Compare this example to the ones above...
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