THE NATURAL TENDENCY for many people, when pitching a product or service, is to tell prospects almost everything they know about their offering. Maybe the hope is that if they throw enough stuff out there, something will stick. And it's really easy to do, because you can just keep adding slides or paragraphs, or continue talking. Besides, if prospects don't hear everything about the product, they might not think it’s good enough and they’ll choose something else.
The reality, however, is that people on the receiving end are rarely so enraptured with the product. They may have a need, so they'll hang in there while the feature dump goes on (and on) (and on).
But, at best, they may only remember 20% of what was said. And if they pass on what they recall to their boss or other decision maker, that person may only get 5% of the original pitch. Meanwhile, that 5% could have very little resemblance to the original dump of information. Result: a watered-down (or wasted?) opportunity.
So what should you do?
If only 5% of your message will filter through your prospect’s company after you're gone, make sure that 5% — your core message — is so crisp, concise, and compelling that it will be easy for your prospect to not only remember your message, but to pass it along pretty much as you gave it. In fact, if your message really hits home, your prospect is likely to amplify your message and make a stronger case on your behalf.
Give them a clear view of how they can benefit from your offering and include only those items that are necessary at that moment to help explain the value you provide. Be ruthless in stripping out details. Either delete them entirely or put them at the end of your presentation, ready to show if and when required. That way, you won’t bury your prospects with information unless they specifically ask for it.
Keep your message short and compelling, and you'll stand a better chance of success.
[You can find more on this and related subjects at The YouBlog — practical ideas on presentations, persuasion, selling, and communications.]