Making Sales - 3 Ways Entrepreneurs Lose Sales During Their Presentations

By Sue Painter

In the last few days I've been sitting in a room watching and listening to real estate developers make presentations to a group of investors. Each investor had paid good money to travel all the way to another country specifically to listen to these presenters. The amount of potential income to the developers is hundreds of thousands of dollars. The developers are experienced, already known to be the best in the countries they work in. But let me tell you, they left a ton of money on the table. Why? Because half of the developers who spoke are great at developing land but horrible at presenting their sales conversation.

The cost of not understanding how to create and deliver a sales presentation is high, and not just in dollars, either. Here are 3 ways a poorly structured presentation hurts you.

  • 1. The know, like, and trust factor. No matter how expert you are in what you do, a bad presentation destroys your chance to build a know, like, and trust factor with those who might spend money with you. If your audience has paid to watch you, they WANT to trust you. They've expressed their interest by paying for and travelling to your presentation. Your poor presentation erodes the trust they already had in you, and causes them to also distrust their sense of seeing you as someone expert in what you do.
  • 2. The boredom factor. People who have paid to attend your presentation are a very warm market. They are interested in what you have to offer, have already invested time and money to attend your meeting, and have money in their pockets. They want to get to the bottom line, the call to action, right away. When your presentation doesn't answer their most pressing questions first, you lose them. You've got about 30 seconds at the start of a presentation to engage your audience. Losing them to a poor introduction that is not the most salient point is a disaster to your bank account.
  • 3. The judgment factor. When you blow your presentation, your audience will begin to think "this guy's not as smart as I thought he was. If he blows his opportunity to sell property to wealthy investors who have travelled to another country to hear his offer, wonder what else he blows in his business?" Your audience begins to see you as less of an expert than they thought you were, doubting not only your presentation skills but your expertise, as well.

Here's the deal - you must move quickly in a sales presentation to offer what your audience most wants to hear - which is what your deal will do for them. Anything else is supporting information and should go in the back of your presentation, if it's in there at all. Secondly, you must offer a very clear call to action. As an example, one developer said to the audience, "If you want more information, you can meet with me individually." When someone from the audience raised her hand and asked when, the developer made the horrible mistake of saying, "Oh, just catch me in the lobby anytime tomorrow morning." The comment I overhead? "Well, if he's that casual about taking my money, I guess I'm casual about giving it to him."

I've noticed that many entrepreneurs are very expert at what they do but are very inexpert at selling their product or service. Structuring your presentation to meet the listener's expectations and using proper sales language at specific points will help you make the most of your opportunity and keep disappointed prospects from turning away.

Sue Painter
Article by Sue Painter
Now that you see how critical it is to structure your presentation to meet your prospect's needs, I'd like to tell you about one of my e-books, How To Have A Sales Conversation That Works. You can get that on my website at

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