Stop presenting you and your company!

By Anders Björklund

Stop presenting you and your company!

Believe it or not, many companies start most meetings by presenting themselves and their company! Do you know how many times we have seen a typical company presentation? Would they let you into the room if they didn’t already know who you were?

If you could sit in on most sales presentations today and simultaneously be transported back in time, you’d notice that little has changed in the last 30 years. Most initial sales meetings are still booked as a ‘meeting without commitment’ to ’get a foot in the door’.

Sales meetings still start with a long monologue about ’us and me’, a genuinely dull company presentation, including highly forgettable ‘fluff messages’ and your run-of-the-mill corporate BS. Highly disengaged prospects reach for their devices, pretending to make notes while, in reality, tuning out to check their emails.

The whole exercise typically ends with the salesperson asking the first question with the not-so-subtle; ‘So what could the next step be?’.

Meanwhile, with few exceptions, most salespeople wouldn’t be let into the room without prospective customers knowing who they are and what value they could offer.  

Do bear in mind that:

    • Attention spans are very short; some say 2.8–8 seconds.
    • People do not have time.
    • People can google.
    • People want to meet people that are knowledgeable and have answers.
    • Buyers are better informed than ever — nearly 2/3 research your company before they even contact you.
  • Most products and services are commodities.

People’s expectations, habits, needs and behaviour have already changed. But unfortunately, too many salespeople are still using techniques to present their solutions that date back to when fax machines and dial-up modems were state-of-the-art. They’re still around today, but nobody will take you seriously if you use them.

While companies may invest in giving their salespeople new tools for selling, education about online and digital prospecting would likely yield a much better return on investment. It’s amazing how few companies are arming their sales staff with the skills, mindset and tools they need to become attractive and exciting to the right person online, i.e. their potential next customer. 

The bottom line

No matter how great your products or services are, you are at a distinct competitive disadvantage if you use presentation techniques and skills developed before the word ‘smartphone’ arrived.

So, please stop talking about your company and yourself and focus on being them! 

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The article was updated on November 18, 2021

Anders Björklund
Founder, CEO & Strategist since 2001. Anders provides thoughts and reflections about how to think about onlinification and digitalisation in B2B.
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