Sales Presentations: Introduce an enemy

think through the problem to find the solution

Sales is an important part of any company and everyone engages in a form of sales in their business.   You need to establish a context and background for your presentation and it is important to follow the proper order and describe the problem before delivering the solution. In this article, we will discuss how to describe the problem, the antagonist, before revealing the solution, your product/company.

Find a common enemy

Think about an antagonist that people can support and rally up against.  It could be a competitor, a concept, or even an event.  The problem has to be relatable to the maximum number of people possible.  Explain all the pitfalls of the enemy and set up the story.  You have to intrigue the audience and give them a reason to pay attention. If you start with your product description and then end with how it solves the product, your audience will leave the room remembering the problem and forgetting about your solution.  A solution looking for a problem to respond to is typically not a successful approach.

You also don’t want to skip the problem all together and simply reveal the solution.  When you are pressed for time in a sales presentation, it might seem easiest to skip the build up and jump straight into the product.  That would be like telling a child the end of the fairytale and skipping the story.  People like the build-up before the “big reveal.”  Your introduction of the problem does not have to be long, as long as it delivers the idea and leaves the audience longing to know how to fix or counter the enemy

Save the day

Once you have introduced the enemy, the problems the audience is facing, then, explain how their needs are met with your product.  Even if you are pitching to a series of experts in your industry, reveal the practical benefits before the technical specifications.  Know your audience and highlight the features that can directly serve their needs. Give examples and short anecdotes on how your product/company is the most comprehensive answer to the problems you addressed previously.



Reference: Gallo, C.  The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.


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Erica Martin

Business Developer at Beekast

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