Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Is This Your Sales Presentation?

Most financial advisors think they give a pretty good sales presentation. After all, they are knowledgeable, dynamic, a trusted advisor and have a genuine desire to help people. Now consider this fact: Several surveys have shown that something close to 70% of all licensed drivers consider themselves "above average"-a statistical impossibility! For all financial advisors who feel they are in the "above average" category, I applaud you and trust that your conversion ratio from prospects to clients reflect your skill.

Yesterday, a friend of mine told me about a recent financial sales presentation that she was invited to attend. The luncheon was at a very nice hotel here in Denver, Colorado. There were over 100 qualified prospects sitting in the audience in a school type setting. Most people were sitting by themselves and just waiting for the big show. The financial advisors and money manager were near the front of the room conferring about the program while the prospects ate lunch. Then...The lights dimmed and the Powerpoint started, for over 30 minutes. The advisors then asked the audience if they had any questions for the expert and informed them if they had additional questions they would be available after the program...And the audience bolted for the doors! Obviously, these financial advisors were not in the "above average" presentation skills level.

What would I do differently?

1. It starts when your prospects enter the room. Greet them and have something of interest to say. It's also a great idea to introduce them to other prospects who may have the same interest or career path.

2. The advisors as well as the money manager should be mingling at lunch not huddled at the front of the room. It appears that you are "plotting" against your prospects.

3. You know how I feel about Powerpoint, and this audience has proven once again, how ineffective it can make your sales presentation.

4. Engage your audience before and during the presentation. It does not work for the "expert" to talk and overwhelm your prospect with facts-and then ask if they have questions at the end.

These are the glaring problems that need to be addressed before the next presentation and further comments will follow.

Steve Mertz
Colorado Sales Presentation Expert


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