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In general, sales people need 0 (ZERO) slides for most sales meetings…
The goal of the majority of sales meetings is to have a conversation with a prospect not to make a presentation. The goal is for the sales person to listen. You should be asking questions and listening to the answers. You really don’t need slides for this. In fact, the more slides you have the more likely you are to stop listening and just get caught up in worrying about your presentation.
Using slides also tends to make the meeting feel more formal. This puts the prospect on their guard. Not what you want.
Now it can be useful to have a few slides (think up to five) in “your bag” to illustrate a point visually, or offer proof against a stated need. But the key is to keep these slides in your bag until you have exhausted the questioning phase of the meeting (after you know what the prospect wants in a solution).
For 75-80% of meetings that sales people attend, it is not your goal to show slides. Your goal is to learn what the prospect wants in a solution. If you get this far, then a few slides can be useful in illustrating a solution and showing proof (you could also use a whiteboard or a blank piece of paper for this!)
So, for most sales meetings think about getting your slide count down to ZERO!
“It’s a complicated offering and we really can’t get through it (sales presentation) in less than an hour.”
That’s what I was recently told by a start-up technology company I was asked by a friend to meet with. My friend, the majority investor in this company, asked me to review their sales presentation – a 50+ slide presentation loaded with features and functionality.
Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, considered by many to be the greatest American speech of all time, defining democracy and our purpose as a nation, took three minutes to deliver. Jesus, defining Christianity and the purpose of man, delivered the Sermon on the Mount in less than 15 minutes. So, why would it ever take anything more than 30 minutes to describe a company, it’s offering, and benefits to a prospective customer? That’s 10 times longer than Lincoln used at Gettysburg!
…extract from JS Logan’s blog