How many sales presentations have you done over your career?  Do you know your presentation so well that you could do it in your sleep?  I am sure the answer to these questions range from “thousands” to “yes, and I have actually done my presentation in my sleep.”

Many of us know the anatomy of a window so well that if there were a doctorate for replacement windows, we would have one.  But there is a risk to so deeply familiar with your product. Often, we can start to sound like doctors.  We start talking over our customers’ or prospects’ heads.

For example, we can sometimes take for granted that everyone knows what a double hung is and how it operates.  And sometimes we get so technical in talking about how it is made that we lose the interest of our customer or prospect.  The old radio station call letters still apply today, WII-FM  – “What’s In It For Me?” When we are presenting to customers and prospects, we want to keep in mind – “what’s in it for our audience?”

Proctor and Gamble has thrived on the fundamental concept of features and benefits.  Their sales and marketing teams are trained to think of the feature and speak of the benefit.  And to understand the benefit for the customer/prospect, you simply ask yourself, “So what?”

Using our example about a double hung, our feature is this — “the sashes tilt in towards the inside of the house.” Ask yourself “so what?”   The benefit can be translated to, “easier to clean your windows and keep them clean.” If you keep asking yourself “so what” before you start explaining a feature of the window, you will align better with your audience.  Statistics show that you will also close more deals.

To wrap up, one of my “very experienced and very successful” friends recently explained to me, “The mark of true intelligence is the ability to take the complex and explain it so everyone can understand it.”  If you think about it, when you are in the home, you are asked to do this every day.  And how intelligent you are with your customers and prospects will translate into how successful you are.

Great Selling!


Tyson's Take


  1. Tyson,
    Another golden nugget I learned from a Marketing pro was to always ask “which results in…?” to arrive at the benefit. Taken to the extreme, “the sashes tilt in towards the inside of the house” which results in “easier to clean your windows and keep them clean” which results in “impressed dinner guests when you have your boss over” which results in “a big promotion”!

    One downside I see today is that sometimes the “WII-FM” pitch can evolve so much that IT becomes esoteric and the potential customer can’t grasp what they are really buying. Using our earlier example imagine someone pitched you “do you want a big promotion? I’ve got some windows that can do it!”

    – Cheers

  2. It has been my experience that the complicated and complex the product it is essential to focus on the features that deliver the benefits the prospect cares about.That is why understanding your customer’s needs and objectives before your formulate much less make your presentation.

  3. Tyler,

    Couldn’t agree more…in fact, I wrote this just a couple of months ago.

    Let me know what you think.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *