Does Your Dream Client Want a Presentation? Really?

alt text for an image of a bored women in a meetingAt some point in the sales process—especially if there is a competition—you are going to make a presentation to your dream client.

Even though some event may be necessary to advance your deal, your dream client doesn’t want what most salespeople believe is a presentation. Your dream client wants something else completely, and winning means giving them what they want—not what you want to give themYour Dream Client Wants a Dialogue. They Don’t Want a Monologue.

I am sure your slide deck is a magnificent work of sales and marketing genius. It’s hundreds of slides, starting with your company’s founding, your mission, your vision, your philosophy, a detailed background on all of your team members, every feature, and every benefit your product or service could possibly provide.

It’s an exhaustive run through your business designed to leave no stone unturned and no question unanswered. Running through all of the slides crowds out room for anything else.

You want to throw the kitchen sink at your dream client, leaving no chance your dream client will not find something that they really want from you, your company, and your solution.

It is a monologue.

Your dream clients want a dialogue.

They are over it; and they wish that you were over it, too.

Your dream clients are interested in you and your solution at some level, or you wouldn’t be there. But what they want most from you is a dialogue. They want to work to make sure that you understand them and that you understand their needs. They wan to make sure that they understand what you can—and will—do to help them achieve the outcome that they need.

Your Dream Client Needs to Know You Share a Vision

Your dream client is looking to you for solutions, I know.

Even though this is true, they already have some vision of what the right solution will contain. If you have done good sales work before now, you will have helped create that vision with them. If for some reason you haven’t, then showing them everything you do and have done isn’t going to help.

The way to make sure that they know that you share their vision and that your change initiative is going to be chosen over all others is to ask questions and to dialogue.

Telling your dream client everything you do and everything you have ever done isn’t anywhere near as compelling as having a killer set of questions that elicits their vision. And it’s the only way to be sure that what you present and how you present it matches their vision.

Even though you are presenting, your dream client wants you to ask them questions, and they want to ask you questions. They want to make sure they are choosing the right partner, and that starts by ensuring that you share their vision.

It matters who you are, not who your PowerPoint says you are. It matters what you believe, not what your PowerPoint says you believe. What you do has to be put in the context of who you are.

Your Dream Client Needs to Know You Can Obtain Results

Your PowerPoint can be helpful.

Your dream client needs to know that you can and will produce results. They need to know what those results look like and how you will obtain them. Your PowerPoint can help by providing you with the stories and some of the details that demonstrate that you know how to obtain results, and that you have a track record of doing so.

Your slides are prompts.

You can share some of your ideas and your dream client can ask questions about how you might apply what you are showing them to help them get the results that they need.

When your dream client asks you questions, you can use your PowerPoint presentation to show them the facts, the figures, the images, the ideas, and the stories that help them to know that you can be trusted to help them get the result that they seek. You can use your presentation to bring the ideas to life.

Your dream client doesn’t really want a presentation. They want a chance to have a dialogue that will help them to understand how you intend to help them, to ensure that you share a common vision, and that you can produce the results that you promise.

They want a dialogue. The last thing they want is a monologue.


    1. When you present to your dream client, what is the outcome you are hoping to achieve? Is it really to share with them your company history? Is it really to show them you know how to pull quotes from their annual report? Do you hope by using their logo on every page and calling describing your relationship as a partnership that you will persuade them to choose you?
    1. Or is it something else you want to achieve?
    1. Do you believe that in any case it is right for you as a salesperson to speak, uninterrupted, for any period of time greater than, say, four minutes? Is there ever a time when you should go through a complete slide deck uninterrupted? Do you believe that you and your slide deck can captivate your audience for 30 or 60 minutes?
    1. What do you have to do to ensure that your dream client gets what they want, a dialogue instead of a monologue?
    1. How do you use your presentation time to ensure that your dream clients see a vision of a solution that is vision they shared (or better, helped create)?
    1. How do you use your presentation time to ensure that your dream client knows that you can and will produce the outcomes that you have sold and that you have promised to deliver?
  1. Take a close look at your slide deck (maybe not all of it, especially if you don’t have hundreds of hours). How many of your slides are valuable for your dream client? How many are just something you want to say because it is something you want to sell? How many could be great prompts for a great dialogue? How many could help you tell your story in a more meaningful way and bring it to life for your dream clients?

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