They Won't Buy If They are Asleep!

Essential presentation skills for sales

by Errol Greene

Christmas was going to come early. I was about to see some I was going to have a chance to see cutting edge technology that a leading corporation would be unveiling. On paper it was going to be a great presentation and the excitement was palatable. The person presenting would be a software engineer who would talk about how this new technology was signaling the direction the company was moving. It was really an amazing opportunity for them as well to take advance orders and generate excitement.

Talk about getting a lump of coal in your stocking! In hindsight, I think I would have preferred to have oral surgery without an anesthetic. It would have been shorter and less painful.

The speaker spoke in a droll monotone and then started reading his Powerpoint presentation in the same boring monotone. Even the slides were boring, offering such enlightening insight as Why technology in your workplace? Call me naive, but I would think that information technology professionals would already know that. Within 5 minutes, virtually everyone in the room had tuned the speaker out and was no longer listening, by 30 minutes there was thought of forming a lynch mob to get him to stop.

As bad as the presentation started, it actually got worse. The slides didn’t even touch on the key information the attendees were looking for, which further alienated the entire audience. It was obvious that the software developer was presenting information that was important to him without a single thought about who he was presenting to. Eventually the gentle snoring that could be heard in the back of the room crescendos into one of the attendee’s literally falling into a plate of food that was sitting in front of him asleep. The attendee quickly raised his head back up with small bits of food still stuck on his face as the room stopped. People did their best to hide their laughter, but the damage was done. After all, everyone realized, this participant finally succumbed to the fatigue that everybody in the room had been fighting.

Unfortunately, incidents like this happen all too often- albeit less dramatically. Think back in just your own experience. How many presentations you’ve sat through where you had to fight as hard as you could to simply stay awake? We have all been there, doing our best to just keep our eyes open and not yawn rudely in front of the speaker. Although The most important problem here is that when this is happening, nothing is actually happening. The money you’ve spent, the time you’ve invested are all lost. In fact, the attendees are probably thinking that they will never put themselves through this again. The lights may be on, but the audience has mentally left the building. The truth is that, no matter how important the information you are presenting is, nobody can hear it if they are not paying attention. The truth is people will not buy if they are asleep!

So where do sales professionals go wrong? The mistake lies in their in thinking. Sales people are not just there to communicate information, they are there to communicate information in an entertaining way. By understanding this simple principle, sales professionals would be amazed at the dramatic results they would achieve.

Click here are some simple, effective tips for improving your next presentation.