Canned Sales Presentations Just Don’t Work Today

Flip charts and slides shows (“canned presentations”) make the best sales product or service promotions because, “a picture is worth a thousand words,” right? Well it depends!

Stanford University’s Research Institute’s VALS study (values, altitudes and life styles) lists five distinct psychographic categories (personalities) or buying decision-making modes. What the Stanford research means to you as a sales manager is that a given picture may not appeal to one or more of the buying mind-sets (Belongers, Achiever, Emulator, etc.) outlined in the study. Using a flip chart or slides as your primary presentation tool can cost you sales, especially if you just walk through each page or play each slide as an outline of your products or service’s features and benefits.

Flip charts and slide presentations must be generic by nature and rarely focus on a decision-maker’s specific needs except for a few slides or pages. From the Stanford research, using this selling approach means that you have one chance in five of appealing to your decision-maker’s primary buying mode depending on the layout and copy theme of the slides or chart.

Slide shows or flip chart presentations are valuable tools if used to highlight specific selling points–points based in the information that your staff members uncover from their in-depth probing (using a consultative selling system) of a prospective customer or client’s needs. The myth of using a “canned sales pitch” and the field-tested and proven selling methods to replace defective techniques are outlined in the “best selling” 101 Sales Myths manual published by The $elling Edge┬«, Inc. (http://TheSellingEdge.com/myths3.htm) The techniques listed are are based in a proven consultative selling process that eliminates most of the fear and pressure associated with traditional presentation approaches.