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Why Your Dream Client Doesn’t Want a Pitch—and How to Make Them Want It

You desperately want to show and tell your dream client about all of the wonderful capabilities and solutions you can use to help them achieve better results. They’re not nearly as excited about having to sit through a pitch as you would have hoped they would be. It’s probably not your fault that your dream client isn’t thrilled at the prospect of sitting through an hour and a half of boardroom drivel. The blame mostly lies with all of the salespeople who have come before you.

There are some reasons that your dream client doesn’t want to sit through your presentation that you can do something about.

Focus

Too often, sales presentations are focused on your capabilities and solutions. You need to demonstrate how you create value for you clients and how what you do produces results. But when the capabilities and solutions aren’t directly tied to your dream clients problems, challenges, and opportunities, they are normally boring and irrelevant.

To make the presentation more meaningful and more enjoyable for your dream client, your solutions and capabilities need to be tied directly to the problems and the challenges that you uncovered with your dream client as you worked through your diagnosis.

As a young salesperson, I was guilty of presenting every solution we possessed and all of our capabilities. I was fortunate enough to have a mentor and sales coach who showed me that my dream clients really only wanted to discuss the two or three ideas that were important to solving their problems. Everything else was just the fast track to losing their attention.

Writers

To often, our presentations are something we alone develop. We choose what we will present, the stories that we will share, and our ideas. The problem is that by writing the presentation alone, we leave our dream client out; they aren’t helping us write what should be our shared vision.

To make your presentation more persuasive and more desirable to your dream client, it has to include their stories and their vision. How did they get here? Where are they trying to go and why? How are we going to get there together?

When you tell a story that puts your dream client at the center of the action and you in the role of the supporting cast, your story is much more interesting. When your story demonstrates how you will be there to help them make the journey from their present state to their desired state, your story is far more persuasive. Your dream client can follow this story.

Entertainment

I have never written this before, but I more and more recognize that much of what we do in sales is to entertain. It helps immensely to have a little entertainer in you. Stories, jokes, humorous anecdotes, and especially self-deprecating humor go a long way to lowering the resistance to your message and make you human.

A presentation that is built on the dry, banal, boring recitation of facts and descriptions of solutions is a certain form of torture. Most pitches aren’t interesting or entertaining. We have been conditioned to expect and respond to things that are entertaining, not professorial lecturing.

To bring your presentation to life, it needs stories. It needs anecdotes that entertain your dream client and help to get them deeply engaged with your message. It needs humor (if you don’t have a dozen funny stories and anecdotes, get them!). The more your presentation keeps your dream client engaged, the better it will be received.

Questions

How have your dream clients been conditioned to hate most presentations?

What makes presentations more interesting and engaging to you?

How can you engage your dream client in helping you decide what and how you will present to their team?

Have you captured their stories and visions so that you can weave them into your presentation?

What will make your presentation more entertaining?

Comments

comments

  • http://profiles.google.com/rick.whittington Rick Whittington

    I really enjoyed this post, Ian. When we design and develop websites or online marketing campaigns (my trade), we make the messaging solution-based — where we tell people how our clients’ products and services can help solve their problems. I needed the reminder that I should do this in my client pitches, too.

    I’ve got a pitch tomorrow, and re-worked a few slides after reading this. It will be interesting to see how that impacts the prospect’s reaction to the presentation. I will focus on the solutions to their pain points first, then talk about our company and accolades at the end.

  • http://newsalescoach.com Mike

    Absolutely love this post. Love it. Yes. Amen. All of that.
    -weinberg