Water Well Journal

February 2015

Water Well Journal

Issue link: https://read.dmtmag.com/i/451364

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Page 53 of 75

T he selfie, the practice of taking a photo of yourself and sharing it with others, is a trend quickly wearing thin. I find the people who like selfies the most are the peo- ple who are in the picture! That's partly why the company selfie has to go. You know what the company selfie is, right? It's a slide, brochure, or a DVD that shows any or all of the following: a picture of your building (ho hum), the timeline of your company's growth or product lines (blah, blah, blah), or the logos of your best customers (I'm sorry, are you still talk- ing to me?). In the business world, the selfie is the dreaded company overview. Rethink Your Approach There is one thing I'll say about the company overview. It's an equal opportunity sales piece—it is as boring for the sales- person to deliver as it is for the customer to receive. It directly contradicts your first order of business when you are in front of a prospective customer: Engage the customer and pique their interest! The truth is this type of information is better suited for a simple leave-behind piece. In this day and age your prospect likely already knows—or has access to—much of what you think you need to tell them about your company. Sure, there are key points you want to highlight for your listener. And yes, there's a place for that, but it is not in the first few min- utes of your conversation or presentation. I see hundreds of sales presentations every year—many from fairly experienced sellers—and what's surprising is while the rest of the deck may be perfectly zen-like, the cor- porate overview slide violates all the rules of a well-designed presentation. Too many bullet points. Small fonts. Boring pictures. Of course, since it's content-heavy, salespeople end up reading from it! Further disengaging from their customer! All in all, a poor start to a presentation or conversation where try- ing to win the prospective customer's attention is already a challenge! What follows is a typical example of a salesperson deliver- ing a company overview (the names have been changed to protect the guilty). Notice in parentheses I have included the thoughts a prospect is likely to have as the salesperson is talk- ing. See if you don't agree. A Typical Company Overview "Before we get started I'd like to tell you a little bit about our company. Manning and Company was founded in 1937 by Paul and Jerry Manning who were providing drilling services to western Texas. (Why is he telling me about his company? I don't even know if he can help me!) "By 1942 they were servicing the entire state of Texas. (We're only at 1942? How long is this going to take?) By 1970 they had expanded to operating in five states. (I'm only interested in my well. Why does this matter to me?) "In 1997 we merged with ABC Companies, a leading wholesaler of drilling supplies to become a leading provider of drilling services and parts. (They sound like they might be too big for me. I don't want to be a small fish in a big pond.) Over the past 80 years we've won several industry awards and acknowledgements including . . . ." (Who and when is my next appointment?) Remember getting cornered by "that guy" at a networking event who went on and on about himself immediately after being introduced? Spoiler alert! Bad news: You may be "that guy" if you're still opening with a company overview like the one in the example. "But won't my company's accomplishments give me credi- bility?" I often get asked. Thumping on your chest too early doesn't give you credibility. In fact, it may create more skepti- cism at that point. You need to earn the right to talk about your accomplish- ments with your prospect. In the beginning, focus on delivering value and connecting with your customer and your credibility will build quickly and naturally. Then, and only then, have you earned the right to talk about how great you are. Even then, limit it to small doses. Dump the Selfie and Still Look Good Sprinkle in relevant facts or accomplishments throughout your presentation or conversation. Don't go dumping every- thing all at once on your listener. JULIE HANSEN ACT LIKE A SALES PRO DUMP THE COMPANY SELFIE In the business world, the selfie is the dreaded company overview. 52 February 2015 WWJ waterwelljournal.com Thumping on your chest too early doesn't give you credibility. In fact, it may create more skepticism at that point.

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