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Not Your Normal Sales Presentation

by David Brock on October 10th, 2012

I have to admit, up front, generally I don’t find books about sales presentations very useful.  Maybe, more accurately, I probably found the very first book I’ve read interesting, then subsequent books virtually copies  of the original book.

Somehow, books about sales presentations seem to focus either on, “Building The Killer Deck.”  There’s the famous 10-20-30 rule.  Or a lot of them focus on “Presentation Style,”  how you actually speak and present offering great insights like, “Generally, it’s not a good practice to pick your nose in front of your audience.”  (OK, I made that up, but it’s still fantastic advice).

Generally, these books tend to focus on technique and style issues, spending all the time on “how to present.”

But there’s a new book on the market that’s a must read for anyone who does presentations.  It’s titled Strategic Sales Presentations, written by my friend Jack Malcolm.

Jack first started talking to me about writing this book over a year ago.  One day, he called saying, “Dave, I want to write a book on Sales Presentations……”  Jack’s a good friend and most of his consulting focuses on helping people become more impactful in their sales presentations.  He has a real passion about it and is one of the most impactful writers and presenters I’ve encountered.  However, when Jack first told me his idea, privately I thought, “Just what we need, another book on doing presentations, hasn’t this been done before?”

But then Jack started sharing drafts with me and I realized Jack was hitting on all the things I had found lacking in other books I had read on presentations.  Yes Jack talks about the “how” of presentations, but that’s reserved for the very end of the book.  The first two thirds of the book focus on the things no one ever addresses, the “what” and “why.”

Winning presentations have less to do with the presentation style or whether you are using the 10-20-30 approach to Powerpoint presentations.  While you may have pretty presentations, but you may not achieve your goal—getting the customer to buy your recommended solution.

The objective of a Strategic Sales Presentation is to achieve a goal.  The goal may be to get a customer to buy, or to get them to accept your recommendation, or to agree to a course of action.  Strategic Sales Presentations are not just given by sales people to prospective customers, but could be presentations given by a product marketing or development team seeking executive approval for investing in a new product line.  Or a manufacturing executive wanting approval for a new factory.

Jack’s approach to Strategic Sales Presentations focuses very little on the event–the meeting where you are giving the presentation.  Jack focuses most of the book on the preparation and design.  Follow Jack’s advice and pragmatic step by step approach and you will develop and design a presentation that enables you to achieve your goal in the meeting itself.  The first two thirds of the book focus on planning, positioning, and crafting your message.  It focuses on designing an experience that enables you to achieve your objective.

This is what’s different about this book on presentations, what sets it apart, and why it is mandatory reading for anyone who seeks to convince people to do something.  No other book addresses these issues in a compelling a manner as Jack’s.  Yes, the “how” to present is important—but it’s meaningless unless you know “what” you are presenting and “why.”

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  1. Fabulous review of Jack’s book, Dave. I, too, found it the best book I’ve ever read on the design, preparation, and delivery of a sales presentation. I asked my friend, architect Barry Thalden, who is a master at presenting major hotel and casino projects for his firm, to read it because Jack writes about points Thalden has been talking to me about for decades, such as the importance of presenting last. Thalden read it and then ordered a number of copies for others in his company. Trust me, Dave, that’s high praise indeed!

    • Bob, it’s always such a pleasure seeing you comment here! It’s great to see your and Barry’s support for Jack’s book. It really is an important approach to achieving goals. Thanks so much for taking the time to comment (Looking forward to your comment on my review of your book. Regards, Dave

  2. Guess I have to stop picking my nose during presentations now. 😉

    Seriously, I got a copy of Jack’s book recently, and it sits in the pile of 6 that I have lined up to read. You, Dave Stein, Bob Terson and others I respect have been raving about it, so I can’t wait to read it now. At the rate I’m going, though, I’ll be gray or bald when I get to it.

    Wait a minute. I am gray and mostly bald now. Hmm. Let’s go back to the nose picking thing…

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