Proving ourselves?

Over the past few months, I’ve been doing a lot of work with people who need to give regular sales presentations. Very often they open their presentations with variations of “About Us” i.e. their background, products / services, global structure, special methodology etc.

Their intention is usually to prove themselves and their credibility. Without doubt, this is important. But is there a better way to do so?

I believe there is. When a professional opens his or her presentation with a story (or a series of facts) about the customer’s world, they demonstrate insight and customer-focus. They show they are up-to-date on the complications and the issues facing the audience. They build credibility by coming across as genuinely customer-centric.

So why does everyone not do this? There are several reasons. For one thing, the imperative to “prove ourselves” goes very deep. We see this all the time, even in casual conversation, with people who are obsessed with the need to impress. Even when vaguely aware that this is counter-productive, some just cannot stop themselves.

For people in sales or business development, in particular, it’s vital to know your own value. If only so that you can stop obsessing about it, and start your presentations with what the audience really want to focus on: THEIR issues and challenges.



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