7 years ago
February 21, 2017

5 Mistakes to Avoid During a Sales Presentation

Your sales team can significantly improve their results by avoiding the following mistakes during a sales presentation.

Rhys Metler

With the success of the entire sales process hinging on the sales presentation, it is very important that a sales team pitches to the very best of their ability. Many sales people fall into making the same mistakes repeatedly in each presentation, significantly harming their ability to close sales and bring in new prospects. Luckily, though because these same mistakes affect each sale, by becoming aware of their mistakes and making a few improvements your sales team can significantly improve their results with just a bit of extra work and training.

Not enough preparation

If you are constantly reading from or referring to your notes or PowerPoint presentation then you are simply not prepared enough for your sales presentation. Any PowerPoint you use should be for the benefit of your audience, not for yourself, and your notes should be there only for the occasional reminder. By knowing your facts well you’ll speak more confidently and engage your audience better.

Talking too much

A sales presentation isn’t the time to give every single bit of information about your product. If you have 30 minutes with a customer, you want to be spending a significant amount of this time in conversation rather than simply presenting. Only through engaging your customer and asking them open-ended questions can you find more about what they need and get opportunities to offer them solution. Your presentation should be the introduction from which a conversation can then develop.

Not pausing & speaking too quickly

Pausing within your sales presentation not only helps to add weight to the statements you’re making but also gives your prospects time to think about what you have said and think up questions. Conversely, a presenter who speaks continuously with no pauses will find their audience losing attention and drifting off. Not only do you want to invest time in pauses throughout your talk but you also want to avoid speaking too quickly – the key is to say less, but to say it better, rather than bombarding your prospect for the entire length of the sales presentation.

Not appearing professional enough

Anything that shows a lack of a professional attitude during a sales presentation is likely to backfire on you and lower your chances of converting a prospect into a customer. This could be anything from turning up late and making excuses to speaking for too long and running over the appointment time. It could even be related to how you dress or the way that you present – a sales presentation is rarely the place for dirty jokes for example!

Lack of third-party reviews

No matter how eloquently you speak about the benefits of your product and your company your words will rarely carry as much weight as endorsements from satisfied customers. Failing to include these in your presentation is a huge error and adding them in could result in some extra sales.

Through simple training, your team can work on, improve each of these aspects of their sales presentation, and increase their chances of success. One of the simplest and best ways to help your team improve is to get them role-playing and presenting to each other. They’ll find they can easily spot all these mistakes and more in themselves and their colleagues and then work on them together in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.