I don’t know about you, but I go to an awful lot of vendor presentations (media representatives, research companies, online service providers, application developers). Sitting through as many presentations as I do, I’ve come to see some commonalities among them. Namely:
- The presenter often knows nothing about our business needs coming in the door.
- The presenter frequently doesn’t understand that we work under a billable hour structure — and that taking 1.5 hours of 3 people’s time costs us a lot of money.
- The presenter generally doesn’t leave anything useful behind.
- The powerpoint/keynote is rarely interesting (mostly, way too many bullet points).
This is not necessarily to fault these vendors (though I am). However going through the exercise of cataloging these failings has made me realize the extent to which most people take presentations for granted. It’s helped me improve my own presentation skills, and has helped underscore for me one of the key truths about the presentation: that it’s a precious opportunity, but one that’s almost always, unfortunately, wasted.
By doing our prospects the courtesy of getting down to business rather than simply taking up their time, we increase our own chances of success while at the same time repaying them for a gift they’ve generously given.
Stay tuned for more on this important subject!