Often clients request training on their “Pitch Decks,” meaning their business’s value proposition that illustrates their product offering/recommendation.
But here’s the “rub” with this. Client Representatives fall in love with their pitch deck to such a degree that they believe it’s the cure-all/silver bullet for any client meeting.
A recent SVP lamented that her relationship managers actually read from the deck during a client meeting, even through a client’s questions!
Cue the dangerous saying, “Well enough about you, let’s talk about me…”
Sales Presentation Decks Do Not Solve All Problems
What this person is doing is illustrating what he believes his company can do for their client without listening first and understanding his client’s challenges. He just assumes that the pitch deck solves all…but it likely doesn’t.
Often I will coach clients to keep the outcome of a meeting ambiguous so that the client sees/experiences the flexibility of shaping a solution versus pre-packaging one.
As a surgeon, my father always said, “you never treat two patients the same way, everyone has their own DNA.” Well, so do clients! They have their own ghosts, challenges, deadlines and dreams that a client manager must understand. Going full speed ahead with a pitch deck is like a doctor prescribing a drug for you in the waiting room!
A Little Coaching and Probing
Turns out what my client and her team needed was coaching and direction on the pre-meeting preparation. They needed to determine some key probing questions that would reveal issues in need of solutions. THEN they needed coaching on the delivery of their pitch deck.
Too many client managers lead with their pitch versus create the climate of consultancy and curiosity to understand their client’s challenges and then present their pitch deck as a solution versus a pitch. Make sure your team’s pitch deck is flexible enough to allow for different client challenges. It will show your empathy and professionalism. Let me know how it goes.