Leave Your Presentation In Your Bag

So many people in a client or business development role do this.

They do it early – far too early.

Do you?

Let us explain.

When we work with people in a business development role, almost every one of them bring out their presentation too early. They almost always go to it immediately, when they are in front of a client.

After all, a great deal of time and effort has been put into designing, modifying and memorizing their presentation.

Too many people, however, use the presentation as a crutch.

They use the presentation as the focal point of the client interaction.

They’ll turn on their laptop, sometimes hook it up to a projector and their work of art (their presentation) is up on the big screen. Or they’ll open up their ipad. Or they’ll give the potential client a brochure or some marketing materials.

That’s, however, where they make their mistake.

What mistake?

The mistake is once the presentation is on the screen, on the laptop, or in a binder, the communication is all about them. It’s about their product or service.

The momentum shifts to their world, away from the clients’ world. The presenters agenda and their needs take over.

The presentation becomes about them.

Instead of focusing on your needs, you need to concentrate on your clients’ situation. You want to uncover their issues and challenges.

So how do you do that?

One of the best ways to focus on your client is to keep your presentation in your bag when you meet.

This promotes a conversation with the client about their situation. It’ll allow you to find out what is happening with them. It will help you build rapport. It will show that you’re interested in their business, and not just interested in your presentation.

If you feel you must get your laptop and other materials out at the start of the presentation, because it takes time to set it all up, that’s ok. Once they’re set up, however, leave them alone.

Focus on your potential client. Talk about their business.

If this conversation lasts longer than anticipated and they often do, that’s what you want. You want to uncover their needs.

For some of our readers, this will feel uncomfortable at first. It’ll feel awkward. You are trained after all, to refer to your presentation as soon as you meet a potential client.

To get more comfortable, do some role-playing with a colleague to practice this new concept. Soon it will become comfortable and you’ll feel more confident.

John Marshall
Business Coaching Success System


One response to “Leave Your Presentation In Your Bag

  1. This is definitely true about many people being too rushed to do their sales presentation.  It takes time to development the rapport with potential clients and one may even discover that the potential prospect is not even a potential customer at all.  A lot of people who are put into sales roles and have not had any training in sales, fail to qualify their customers and as a result, end up wasting everybody's time.

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