Do you want to sell your company (or an important product or service) for maximum value and quickly? Then, you need to think like the BUYER before you design the presentation.
This message has been reinforced recently, as several CEOs who are selling their companies share with me how they are struggling with sales presentations designed for them by investment banking and related firms. Why are they’re struggling? While the banker-types do a decent job collecting the information that needs to be presented, they turn the design job to junior analysts who “fit” the data into an evergreen sales template. This process generates several problems:
- The templates often are not designed from the perspective of a BUYER but rather reflect the “data-dump” of the data collected to make the sake. A BUYER presentation focuses on:
- What the BUYER needs to know (and what should be deleted),
- How the facts and data should be presented to be compelling,
- How to structure the entire presentation to guide the BUYER to reach the conclusion: “I really want this!”
- The potential BUYER is part of an extended team that has to pull the trigger on buying. This includes people in the company, investors and advisors. Therefore, a key goal of the presentation is to enable the person to share the information with others! Like the game of telephone, as it gets communicated from one person to another, pieces get lost and confused. Therefore, the presentation must make crystal clear at the end WHY this is an incredible deal and do it in a way that the BUYER can share it completely with others!
- Most analysts shouldn’t be expected truly understand the BUYER context. He/she only recently graduated a (often top) college which taught how to do financial modeling and make presentations. These are key technical skills. But, as Google’s research demonstrated, the soft-skills often count more today than the hard skills. That the template may not include the right facts in the right offer and therefore eliminate the right flow to persuade a BUYER is something not yet experienced. As a mentor once shared with me, don’t expect someone who drives used cars to be a powerful new luxury car sales person.
- All too often the person who presents to potential buyers is given the mandate to present this less-than-ideal-templated presentation” to potential buyers by going from over-stuffed- slide-to-slide. Instead, the seller should be presenting his/her persuasive, memorable STORY, filled with passion, purpose and vision and supported by informative and engaging slides within a powerful, flowing presentation. Only then can a deal proceed at full value and at full value. (The gap between reading the slides and presenting a powerful story is the largest reason that potential deals don’t advance.)
For over thirty years, my teams at Presentation Excellence and its predecessor Brilliant Image, have been telling our over 5000 customers to follow a simple formula that almost always enable them to win: ADAP – Audience-Driven, Authentic Presentations. Understanding the buyer context is KEY. One of my clients once raised $100M Opportunity fund with a 20 minute stand-up presentation at tall tables in bars. Another CEO had trouble selling a company which sold at retail dressy dresses ; once we realized that the Buyer-Reps were all men – who often bought tuxedos that they wore over and over again, we realized changing the mindset immediately was key to revealing Company’s real value. Finally, I wrote this blog in response to a third CEO who told to present their hot-off-the-press presentation the next day (for the first time) while he was uncomfortable with the flow and style, but was willing to go along with the (expensive) experts.
So, if you’re one of the millions of owners and managers who have critical sales planned for 2022, THINK LIKE THE BUYER, before you design and deliver the presentation!
(For more information, call JerryCahn@PresentationExcellence.com or 800 493 1334
that can only be worn once is not the same as selling Tuxedos which may be work countless times.
Think Like the Buyer, BEFORE You Design the Presentation