“Our business has really become quite commoditized. The only thing anyone cares about is price. That makes it very hard for us to distinguish ourselves during a presentation.”
Those are the words of a general manager of a large division of a major software company. We were having breakfast and discussing his business.
I hear the same thing over and over again from business after business.Â Bankers, accountants, lawyers, construction firms,Â high tech vendors etc. Everyone thinks they’re in a commodity business.
But let’s be clear aboutÂ something. No businessÂ is a commodity if a majorÂ component of the delivery of the business involvesÂ some level of personal service.Â Even if you’re in aÂ true commodity business like soybeans, the quality of Â human interaction willÂ set one firm apart from the rest.
What does this mean for a salesÂ presentation?Â You have to build your presentation around the things that set you apart from the competition.Â That is usually the things that emphasize the quality of personal service the prospect will receive from you.
There are five things in a presentation that will set your firm apart by forcing the listener to focus on the human differences in a firm.
- Focusing your message on a business solution: By focusing your message on solving a problem, you show that you have carefully listened for their needs.
- Keeping the message simple. By delivering a simple message, you show that you understand that communication is important in any business.Â That’s a part of service.
- Speaking with passion: If you seem passionate, you get your prospect excited and you seem like it will be fun to work with you.
- Leaving lots of time for Q&A. By taking lots of questions, you highlight your ability to solve problems.
- Rehearse: Lots of practice shows and demonstrates a committment that will set you apart from the competitors who didn’t care enough to practice.
Many people think of their business today as a commodity. But if you focus on the human differentiators in your next presentation, you’ll set yourself apart from the competition.