The Two-Hour Sales Presentation Vs. A Seven-Minute Attention Span


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The average decision-maker has an attention span of just a little over seven minutes. I’m convinced that adult attention spans have been carefully programmed by network television, by the seven to eight minute time segments of entertainment, wedged between commercial breaks. On the other hand, the average sales presentation in the United States runs from one and a half to two hours in length. As a sales manager, you should easily figure out what’s wrong with this picture.

Those of you with complex products or services, or with large product lines may be saying to yourself, that it takes at least an hour to demonstrate all of the features and benefits of what it is you sell and another 20 to 30 minutes for questions and answers, right? Well, if you want more sales, help your staff to cut the length of their presentations down appreciably.

The $elling Edge®, Inc. ’s Sales Success Strategies workshop, teaches a six-step selling process that can be completed, no matter how complex the product or service, in 30 minutes or less. We speed up the selling process, not only because of a decision-maker’s lack of attention , but more important, so that a sales professional can make more presentations in a given time period. And, the more presentations made over time, the more sales that are consummated.

You do the math. If a sales representative averages one and a half to two hours for each presentation as compared to an average of 30 to 40 minutes, how many more presentations can your staff make each year? How many more sales?

The six-step selling process, taught in the Sales Success Strategies workshops, is outlined in detail in a self-directed learning manual of the same name. You can learn more about it at:

VIRDEN THORNTON is the founder and President of The $elling Edge®, Inc. an Ohio consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training, personal coaching, advisory services and publishing. Clients have included Sears Optical, Eastman Kodak, IBM, Service Linen Supply, Bank One, Jefferson Wells International, and Wal-Mart to name a few. Virden is the author of the “best selling” Building & Closing the Sale, Prospecting: The Key To Sales Success and Close That Sale, a video/audio tape series published by Crisp Publications a division of Thompson Learning. He has also authored a client acclaimed Self-Directed Learning series of sales, coaching, telemarketing, and personal productivity manuals. To obtain a substantial discount on two of Virden's latest books, 101 Sales Myths or Organizing For Sales Success, go to:


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