6 Warning Signs: Is Your Sales Presentation In Danger?

The most successful entrepreneurs and business people know that persuasive sales presentations are money magnets. Better sales presentations mean more sales.

Sales people — and anyone who gets up in front of a group are searching for just one thing. A fast and easy way to engage any audience.

But let’s look closely. Could your sales presentation be in danger?

If you recognize any of these 6 warning signs, take immediate action. You can save your pitch from bombing — and still make your quarterly goals.

1. Not Listening

Yes. It’s number one on the list of why sales pitches and presentations fail. You’re not listening. You mean to. You promise yourself you will. You might even tie a knot in your handkerchief (old-school method of reminding yourself to not forget.)

Even so, it’s the biggest complaint about sales presenters. Not listening. If you think this might apply to you – or your sales team – be sure to do some extra work on listening skills.

2. Pushing 

This is closely linked to the first warning sign. If you’re not listening, it’s easy to just push on. You’re on a roll. You’re excited about your offer and all the things that are possible. So excited that you might be guilty of steam rolling.

And while you’re cooking along, you might forget to notice what’s happening to your audience.

Are they rolling their eyes? Groaning? (silently or verbally) Are they checking their PDA? Are they having a side conversation? Are they scrolling for new text messages or emails?

If you notice any of these signs, you most likely are pushing.

3. Not Passionate

Few things are more contagious than a lack of passion. If you don’t exude passion in your presentation, why should your prospect or client get on fire with what you offer?

It’s basic common sense. And it’s the root of magnetic connection with clients. Or the death of your sale. When you are passionate, it comes through in your voice, pacing and body language. You’re excited about your products and services. You’re delighted to have the opportunity to share what you can do to help your clients.

Passion is what clients feel and respond to. Ask around in your sales team. How are they igniting passion to present ideas and solutions? What is the top performer doing – that you can adapt to your delivery?

4. Too Many Options

This is tempting. But it’s really dangerous. If you aren’t listening, and you’re pushing, and you aren’t all that excited about your offer — it’s easy to fall into this trap.

More options. It seems like a good idea at the time. But it’s not. If you offer too many options, your client will feel overwhelmed and unable to decide. This leads to the fatal death of a sale: the stall.

Your client is likely to get confused if you give more than 3-options. The best bet here is to sequence your presentation. Gain agreement on sections. Then, and only then, add in additional options.

This is a process you can do when presenting via audio conferences, in-person meetings, or virtual meetings. The process is the same. Only the medium changes.

5. Too Few Options

O.K. Just had to mention this one. If you’ve taken the last warning sign to heart, you might have overdone it just a little bit. And the result: too few options.

The danger here is that your client will think: “Hmmm…there must be another option. I’ll go look for a different vendor.”

Of course, this is not what you want. Find the best middle ground. A few options, offered in a logical sequence is most often the best bet.

6. Sounding Like A Know-It-All

You might not realize this one on your own. A lot of sales professionals forget they’ve been immersed in their own content, meeting with expert teammates and neck-deep in data. It’s awfully easy to start using jargon, insider lingo and spouting numbers like a fountain.

Remember this: your clients and prospects are seeing your presentation for the first time. They don’t know the ins-and-outs. They want a friendly person to take them by the hand and show what’s what.

When you do this, you will stand out from other sales presenters.

You won’t come off as sounding arrogant or self-important.

In short, giving an exceptional sales presentation is a lot like driving. When you know the rules of the road, respect the warning signs and pay attention to people around you — it’s easy to get to where you want to go.

Whether you have specific financial goals, or a targeted outcome from your presentation, make sure you recognize the warning signs. Once you know the signs, steer clear and get to your desired destination.