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Q: I have just become a member of the ISMM and have read your article entitled ‘Centre of attention’ in the Winning Edge publication.

I e-mail potential clients quite often with a company presentation and have had limited feedback on it.

Would it be possible for me to e-mail one to you for some honest feedback?

I have attached a presentation that was sent to a potential client recently.

Basically when I make contact with a prospect they normally request some information on our company which I send through and the feedback is normally, ‘thank you very much I will keep it on file for when I am ready to procure signage’, and not ‘That looks really interesting can we meet up’.

I then follow this up periodically and, to be fair, we do win some tender inclusions from them.

However, my concern is that these buyers get bombarded every day by companies such as ours, and I don’t think our presentation is making them sit up and notice us above the rest.

Whilst I appreciate the sales cycle can be a drawn out affair in large scale signage roll-outs, I would like some quick wins!.

Unfortunately I don’t have any stats to quantify this, however I have a feeling that we are just put in a filing cabinet with the rest of the signage suppliers!

Any feedback you can provide would be appreciated.

Business Development Manager
UK Signage Company

A: Following on from yesterday’s examination of the business message content, we can now look at the business presentation style. And this is where it gets even more exciting, as there’s a mass of presentation options to choose from.

Business Presentation Style

The current pdf attachment of 21 pages is like trying to squeeze one of Pharaoh’s pyramids into a letter box.

What we need instead is:

> A couple of lines of killer email text offering a solution to the possible problem(from the customer’s perspective, ie, her needs, her situation)

> A link to view “something” online

> An invitation to click the link and see all problems solved.

This type of email won’t get bounced back because of attachments, or get killed off so easily by the spam filter (as it has business relevant text)

So where does the “something” online take us?

We have 3 options:

> The cheap option

> The “Yes – I have some budget” option

> The “I want to spend to get this right” option

The Cheap Option

You need to link to a dedicated area of your website where you can make a sales presentation.

Instead of viewing a pdf, you direct the customer to view a dedicated presentation online.

This will be a series of web pages, offering a structured sales message.

For details of how to structure the message, please see Part One of this article, Message Content

If you can provide text and images, your webmaster should be able to sort out the rest.

The big advantages of this approach are:

> Your pdf attachment won’t get you bounced

> You get people to your website – your big Customer Touch Point in the sky!

The “Yes – I have some budget” option

Here is where you provide some streaming multimedia or streaming video.

I prefer streaming multimedia that talks.

To hear streamed sales presentations that talk

Even more I prefer a streaming multimedia that I can also use for personal presentations, major account presentations and exhibitions & seminars, as well as just an online presentation.

Multi-use is important, as you get miles more value for money than a single shot web-only presentation.

This means you can’t use Flash, as flash is really only good for online quickies. Flash gets problematic handling a whole presentation played from laptop or projector.

Nonetheless for £5,000-£6,000 you can get a brilliant multimedia sales presentation which you can use at almost every customer touch point.

You can use business video too, but video doesn’t always have the same bang-for-buck as multimedia. Look at this closely before you spend.

Whatever option you choose, your customer will click your email link and arrive at a dedicated microsite – your sales presentation your company presentation, your business presentation – call it whichever you prefer.

And they’ll immediately see an option to view a streaming video or multimedia. It’s best if it looks like youtube, so you get instant recognition and knowledge of what’s required (you’d be amazed how many people fail to click the lick because they don’t get it)

Most people have flash, so use flash .flv format (again, like youtube).

And have the option for a .wmv download, just in case they can’t view flash video.

So long as your streamed multimedia has immediate relevance to solving their business problem, they should be excited and aroused from watching it.

From viewing a sales multimedia, they’re far more likely to complete your contact form or subscribe to your newsletter than if they viewed plain web text (er … who reads text? Just a question!)

The “I want to spend to get this right” option

Do all of the above, then add this:

Have your web programmer make it so that, when they click the link in your email directing to view your online business presentation, they arrive to see the presentation personalised.

Hi, Linda, thanks for dropping by


Sybil, we can solve your problem. Let us show you how.

The impact of seeing personalised presentation can be worth it for many.

You can also add smart details – like see all the fields in the Contact Form pre-populated with the customers details, address and such.

Many visitors visit at the contact form. Imagine their surprise to see it pre-filled out!

Hardly anything left to do except click “send”!


What’s wrong with my business presentation is a big topic. We’ve only touched the surface here over the last 2 days. But hopefully you’ve got some ideas of where to start.

The sales message content matters the most.

> Solve the problem. Immediately.

> Offer a proposition. Immediately.

> Prove all claims. Immediately.

Only then have you earned the right to talk about yourself and your company.

The presentation style or design matters too.

> Attachments get bounced. So get them online instead.

> Build an online presentation, a small 5-7 page microsite. This is cheap.

> If you have budget, then greet visitors with a streaming multimedia or video.

And if you can afford it, have it all personalised so your customer sees their name in lights.

If you contrast the original 21 page pdf with the business solution outlined above, hopefully you’ll be able to see “what’s wrong with my business presentation” and start winning even more customers.

© Studio Rossiter 2008

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