For Effective Presentations, Less is More!

November 13, 2012  |  Posted by in Sales Training
 

When it is time to make your solution recommendation to your client, the Diamond Presentation model is a great way to increase your degree of influence and close the client’s GAP at the same time. The Diamond is your opportunity to present an idea that will move the needle and make a measureable impact on your client’s business world. The Diamond model allows for freedom and flexibility to personalize the Solution, but it is important to remember to keep the Solution on point and relevant. Avoid getting carried away and dumping all of your company’s attributes and products into the lap of your client. Often times, less is more when it comes to your Solution portion of your Diamond model.

Motivational psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson illustrated this point beautifully in her recent HBR blog…

The Presentation Mistake You Don’t Know You’re Making  by Heidi Grant Halvorson – HBR Blog Network

During an interview, your potential new boss asks you to briefly describe your qualifications. At this moment, you have a single objective: be impressive. So you begin to rattle off your list of accomplishments: your degrees from Harvard and Yale, your prestigious internships, your intimate knowledge of essential software and statistical analysis. “Oh,” you add. “And I took two semesters of Spanish in college.” Not technically an impressive accomplishment, but since the company does a lot of business in Latin America, you figure some Spanish is better than none at all.

Or is it?

Actually, it isn’t. You’ve just fallen victim to a phenomenon that psychologists have recently discovered, called the “Presenter’s Paradox.” It’s another fascinating example of how our instincts about selling — ourselves, our company, or our products — can be surprisingly bad.

The problem, in a nutshell, is this: We assume when we present someone with a list of our accomplishments (or with a bundle of services or products), that they will see what we’re offering additively. If going to Harvard, a prestigious internship, and mad statistical skills are all a “10″ on the scale of impressiveness, and two semesters of Spanish is a “2,” then we reason that added together, this is a 10 + 10 + 10 + 2, or a “32″ in impressiveness. So it makes sense to mention your minimal Spanish skills — they add to the overall picture. More is better.

Only more is not in fact better to the interviewer (or the client or buyer), because this is not how other people see what we’re offering. They don’t add up the impressiveness, they average it. They see the Big Picture — looking at the package as a whole, rather than focusing on the individual parts.

To them, this is a (10+ 10+ 10+ 2)/4 package, or an “8″ in impressiveness. And if you had left off the bit about Spanish, you would have had a (10 + 10+ 10)/3, or a “10″ in impressiveness. So even though logically it seems like a little Spanish is better than none, mentioning it makes you a less attractive candidate than if you’d said nothing at all.

More is actually not better, if what you are adding is of lesser quality than the rest of your offerings. Highly favorable or positive things are diminished or diluted in the eye of the beholder when they are presented in the company of only moderately favorable or positive things.

Read the entire article here.

Once you identify the GAP, tie back your Solution in Feature/Advantage/Benefit format to the GAP, with the Benefit being the GAP that will be closed. Be confident in the Solution and the GAP it closes, and then highlight the two to three key features that will be the vehicle to help close the GAP. Avoid the temptation to use the infomercial line, “But wait, there’s more!” as it becomes the “Presenter’s Paradox” and can do more harm than good.

 
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