Posted on 01 December 2011
- Being unprepared: Too many times I have seen someone slap together a presentation the night before a meeting. They don’t do their homework with who they are meeting or how their prospect makes money. Going to linkedin and looking up the people you are meeting with goes a long way, especially when you realize that Sally has the same alma mater as you. I can’t imagine not going to the company’s website and learning about what kind of products they have, how they make money, and how my solution will fix their problems, but many people just show up and hope their charisma will get the deal done.
- Ignoring personality styles: There are 4 types of personalities. In the upper left hand quadrant you have analytics, in the bottom left you have amiables. In the upper right hand quadrant you have drives and in the bottom right you have expressives. You need to be able to know which personality type you prospect is in. For instance if they are an amiable, you don’t jump into your sales pitch, you might ask them if that is a picture of their kids on the desk and have a conversation about what their hobbies are. If you are talking to an analytic, you need to state only the facts and don’t get to excited about your vision. You may consider jumping to a slide in your presentation that shows the facts and figures about what your solution will solve. When talking to a driver they don’t want to chit chat, they want you to get right down to what you are there for, what you are looking for and how you can help them. Keep it quick and to the point. However if you are with an expressive (that’s me) it’s more of an emotional sale. Talk about your vision for the company and the industry, excite me with other things about your organization that makes you different or unique, it doesn’t have to be all about the product. People who fail to match personality styles will never click as quickly as they need to.
- Ugly presentations: Analyticals aside, most people will care about the quality of your presentation. I might tell you the meeting is over if I see clip art from Microsoft word. The companies who spend time on all aspects of their companies brand are the ones who put more effort into their products. If you have recently read Steve Job’s autobiography you will know that Mark Markkula, the third co-founder of Apple told Steve early on that one of the most important principle’s to marketing was Impute. He goes on to say “People DO judge a book by its cover. We may have the best product, the highest quality, the most useful software etc.. ; if we present them in a slipshod manner, they will be perceived as slipshod; if we present them in a creative, professional manner, we will impute the desired qualities”. You only have a chance to make a first impression once, so your presentation should blow people’s mind.
- Not inquisitive enough: Nothing is more annoying than when someone is pitching you, and it’s all about them, their products, and how they can help you. I always try to ask as many questions as possible. The customer will give you the key to how you can win the deal, you just need to ask enough questions and then shut up.
- Stand the *%$# out: Everyone is going to walk thru that door and compete on three things, pricing, features and service. The prospect will hear the same pitch just said three different ways. You have this knowledge so why don’t you do something about it? Why don’t you spend time talking about what truly sets you apart from everyone? At mobileStorm we celebrate freedom. I founded the company because I wanted to be free to do what I wanted to do. I have spent a long time trying to figure out what that means internally to my employees as well as externally to our customers. Internally I let employees manage their own schedules, wear what they want to wear to work, and make major decisions usually reserved for executives. For customers we make products that are dead simple to use; and we hope the time they save using our products, is more time that they get to spend with their friends and family. We also don’t require long term contracts; we let them decide how good our service is. So imagine if you are up against a company like mobileStorm who is selling something more than just an inexpensive, product with a lot of features, you have your work cut out for you if you want to win the deal.