One of the biggest mistakes that people make in their strategic sales presentations is to make it all about themselves early in the presentation: this is who we are, how long we’ve been in business, our mission and values, our core competencies, etc.
That’s bad enough in itself, but it’s actually worse than it seems.
It’s not just that people talk about themselves too much in presentations, it’s that what they say about themselves is exactly the same as what their competitors say.
Once, just to prove a point, I talked to some executives from a company that is a leader in its industry. Using some web site quotes, I asked them if they accurately described their differentiators and advantages.
They responded as if I was wasting their time: “Of course, why don’t you tell us something we don’t know? What’s your point?”
The point was that the quotes had not come from their own web site. I had collected them from the sites of each of their next three competitors. In fact, without keeping track of the source of each quote, it would have been next to impossible to match the statement with the company.
When even the executives of the company don’t recognize the differences between what they say and what everyone else in the industry says, how can you expect customers to make sense of your message, to remember what you say during your presentation, or to care?
If you want to make an instant improvement to your sales presentation, go see what your competitors are saying about themselves. If it sounds just like you wrote it, go back to your own presentation and take it out or change it.