I am a big advocate for ensuring that those who engage with potential customers in an organization have access to quality marketing collateral.  Providing this support for those professionals not only allows them to improve their job performance but also enables them to communicate a message even in their absence.  This marketing collateral can come in the form of:

  • brochures
  • rack cards
  • fliers
  • power point presentations
  • product displays

Each of these should be able to stand alone, enabling the viewer to continue the dialogue even in the representative’s absence.  Unfortunately, there are times when this collateral is used as a “crutch” during a presentation or a meeting with a prospect, whether it’s due to inexperience, nerves, or simply being unprepared.  The business professional relies so heavily on the marketing collateral that instead of engaging with their prospect, they read or follow a set script.

The best course of action is to drop the “crutch,” instead using it to complement your conversation.  A successful presentation should:

  • not be “canned” or appear rehearsed
  • deviate from the agenda depending on the prospects questions and level of engagement
  • be customized to fit the needs and demographics of the audience
  • add value to the conversation
  • be read by the audience, not by you

Treating each interaction as a conversation with a potential customer is the ideal.  It allows a presentation to be fluid and encourages involvement from the audience.  Remember that everyone can see a “crutch” and will in turn make assumptions as to why it’s being used. You want them to remember you, not the “crutch.”

Keep it personal.

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