1   Make It All About Them

Myth: It's all about us.

Truth: It's all about them.

The most common misconception about the sales presentation is that the prospects want to hear all about us, the company presenting: our size, our clients, our products, our people, and our awards. In fact, this is so ingrained in corporate sales culture that clients actually feed into these misconceptions—so much so that they provide direction or issue agendas that make everyone think that they want the presentation to be all about the firm that is selling the products and services. They ask us to explain our products and services, they ask us to tell them how we are different, and they ask us to tell them about our processes and systems. Yet, in reality, clients want the presentation to be about them. They want to hear how we are going to help them to solve their problems, address their needs, and seize their opportunities. They want to be the center of the story. Think about it: Most of us have been on the buying side at one time or another. A sales presentation that is all about the vendor and the product is a big bore. A sales presentation that focuses on the audience and their problems, on the other hand, is engaging.

Recently, my husband and I interviewed financial advisors. We were rolling over a 401(k) from a previous employer and thought it would make sense to consolidate our investments. We interviewed two advisors, and the contrast between the two was notable. We spent considerable time ...

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