Most slide decks start with a series of slides about the company. They include things like the company’s history, their awards, their locations, their executive leadership team, and more recently, its investors and board members. From there, they often go into the way their products and services create value, with vignettes following the slide of the logos of the big, well-recognized brands the company already serves.
There is a reason decks have been designed this way. The executives and marketing people who commission these things want to tell the company’s story. They want to establish their bona fides. But in doing so, they start a sales conversation in exactly the wrong place; they start with “Let me tell you a little about me.”
Most salespeople use these decks in a linear fashion, marching through a dozen slides that prove they work for a strong, successful company, the kind of company you should want to do business with, leaning too heavily on the company itself as the value proposition. They also rely too heavily on products and services to demonstrate how they can help the client get better results, not recognizing that this formula doesn’t differentiate them from their competitor’s, with the client believing that the slide decks they see, and the talk tracks are interchangeable.
If you are going to share a point of view, a compelling reason to change now, that is a better starting place than your company’s history. If you have a message that is wroth sharing, then that message should come first.
If you are giving a final presentation, the place to start is with the client’s current state (the reason they need to change now), followed by the future state (where are we going), followed by the solution (how do we get there). The solution can include the stories, vignettes, case studies, and logos you want your dream client to see as proof that you do this work with big companies.
You can move all the slides about your company to an appendix, in case someone says, “Tell me a little about the awards your company has won and show me a map of your locations.”
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Filed under: Sales