When giving a presentation you are engaged in both a marketing and sales activity.
Marketing is about informing many people at the same time, for example by sending a leaflet about a product. The product information is presented in two ways; the objective part and the more emotional part. The objective part is about facts and figures, the emotion is about image and style. You need them both in a presentation as in a marketing campaign. Marketing is one-to-many-activity. The marketing part of a presentation is when you present your slides and you communicate the ideas and all eyes all directed to you. There is no dialogue (yet).
Sales is about interaction, Sales is about now and sales is limited by time. The marketing leaflet could end up in a drawer and appear again after months without losing its power. Sales is working against the clock; when the time’s-up, it is over. Sales is about tenability like the fresh milk that gets spoiled when it is over due. Marketing on the other hand, doesn’t loose it’s power when the (presentation) time is up; even there is no deal (sales) the presentation and marketing effort will remain its power. You need sales during a presentation. You need feedback from the audience to see whether they show some interest. If people ask questions during the presentation it means that the get involved and that is where you are in the selling mode.
But most of all presentations is about marketing and not about sales. The sales part comes after the presentation. It is at those moments when someone from the audience comes to you and asks this extra question. You start a conversation and in the end you may come to an agreement. To a sale perhaps. For the rest, the presentation will remain in the drawer of people’s heads, like a marketing leaflet.
Knowing that you can't sell anything in a presentation, could serve you when preparing for the presentation.
© 2006 Hans Bool
Hans Bool is the founder of Astor White a traditional management consulting company that offers online management tools. Have a look at some of our free management tools