The Cost of a Bad Sales Presentation

Michele Warg
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A bad sales presentation can do much more than just leave you feeling embarrassed and defeated. There are several other side effects of a bad sales presentation that affect the long-term relationship with the client, but there are also many steps you can take to prepare for and deliver a successful sales pitch.

Your job is to sell potential investors, buyers or wholesalers on your product and hold their attention throughout your pitch. If you make the product seem confusing, the client loses interest in your pitch, resulting in a bad sales presentation. If you fail to convince the client of the benefits of your product or service, he is not convinced to close the deal, and your sales performance figures suffer.

Even more damaging, a bad sales presentation can lead to repercussions in the long run for your organization. If you represent your company poorly with an unprofessional sales pitch, the client is likely to avoid future dealings with your organization as a whole. In the age of computer technology, social media and email, it’s possible for word of your bad sales presentation to travel quickly to other potential clients. Even clients who are loyal to your company may begin to question the professional integrity of your organization as a result of just one failed sales presentation.

Fortunately, there are many steps you can take to avoid a bad sales presentation. Prior to delivering a sale pitch, make sure your equipment is in working order, and rehearse your presentation until you are completely comfortable with it. Focus on actually knowing the content of the presentation rather than simply memorizing the words; this prepares you for any questions the client may ask. Don’t inundate the client with too much information; focus on three to four bullet points, and elaborate on those throughout your pitch.

When delivering your presentation, keep your focus on the audience. If you are using a PowerPoint presentation, don’t overload slides with content; stick to four bullet points or less per slide. Don't rely on charts and graphs to do your presenting for you; use them in moderation, and explain how they relate to your pitch. It's also important not to litter your PowerPoint with fancy fonts; keep it tasteful and professional, and use no more than two fonts throughout the entire presentation. Keep colors and layouts clean and simple to maintain the professional appearance of your pitch, and don’t overuse animations or photos. To keep things concise, limit your PowerPoint presentation to 12 slides or less.

Even the best salesman can deliver a bad sales presentation, and this can lead to unfortunate consequences for the future of his company. To deliver a successful sales pitch, the presenter must focus on knowing his subject inside and out, getting right to the facts, and providing relevant and professional visuals.

Photo courtesy of imagerymajestic at



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