Do you still have a company overview slide lurking around in your presentation? You know the slide – the one that lists company awards, key customers, a timeline of your products, and a generic elevator pitch about what you do. If you still have that slide(s), you’re not alone. But be warned: the clock is ticking. It’s time to lose your company overview.
Why lose your company overview?
Not only are company overviews unnecessary, they steal time and attention away from what really matters and can cost you more than you know. Here are three good reasons to lose your company overview:
- Today’s buyers are typically well-informed. In fact, buyers are likely to be two-thirds of the way through researching a solution before reaching out to you. So why come in with company information as if they’d never even heard of you?! Sure, there may be some key points about your company that you want to highlight for your audience, and there’s a place for that, but it is not in the first few minutes of your presentation.
- Company overviews violate the rules of good slide design. Company overviews always seem to use too many bullet points, small type, and boring graphics. And of course, since the slide is content-heavy and written in “corporate-speak,” salespeople end up reading it, further disengaging from their audience. The result? A very poor first impression.
- The first few minutes of your presentation should be all about the customer – not your company. Jumping into a company overview is like getting cornered by someone at a cocktail party who starts going on and on about himself immediately after being introduced. You don’t want to be that guy.
Want proof? Imagine listening to the following typical company overview:
“Before we get started I’d like to tell you a little bit about our company. We started as a small data management company in Wisconsin with ten employees. By 2000 we had grown to 1000 employees and moved to our current office in Stamford, which you can see here, to make room for everybody. In 2001, we started with data management, and then you can see we added order management in 2002 and finally e-commerce in 2004. And these are all the industry awards we’ve received for technology and design over the past ten years. On this next slide you can see some of the over 500 customers we’ve helped, including…”
Are you still awake? If so, how many times did you find yourself thinking, “So what?!” That’s precisely what goes through the minds of buyers when you subject them to a long, boring company overview.
“But won’t my company’s accomplishments give me credibility?” I often get asked. Thumping on your chest too early doesn’t give you credibility. In fact, it probably creates more skepticism than anything else. Focus instead on delivering value right from the start of your presentation and your credibility will build quickly and naturally. Then, and only then, have you earned the right to talk about how great you are. (In small doses!)
Here’s how to lose your company overview:
I get it. You’ve grown accustomed to your company overview. It feels strange to just…let it go. Here are some tips for making parting much easier.
- Come up with a powerful customer-focused opening.
- Put your company overview on paper and use it as a leave behind, or send it in an attachment. Company slides are better suited for a brochure than a live presentation anyway.
- Sprinkle in relevant facts or accomplishments throughout your presentation as opposed to dumping it all on a few slides.
- If you do deliver information about your company, make sure you position them as benefits, not features. For example, “we have 1000 employees” is a feature. “We have 1000 employees, which makes us available 24/7 to address your needs,” ties that feature to a benefit.
Lose the company overview all together. Trust me, it won’t be missed.