Growth Tips: The perils of premature presentation

Understand the prospect’s problems and aspirations before making a pitch.

June 13, 2013   by Andrew Shedden

Salespeople are expected to ingest massive amounts of product information prior to making any contact with a prospect, but you will be shocked to learn that there’s a high correlation between extensive product knowledge and poor selling skills.

How can this be? Knowledge of features, advantages, and benefits is critically important to sales success, right? The truth is over-emphasizing product knowledge when training salespeople is the primary cause of premature presentation.

Manufacturers with high-performing salespeople understand the importance of a selling process that acquires knowledge of potential customers, who according to the adage, “Buy for their own reasons, not yours.”

Focus on a prospect’s problems and aspirations first, then tie your products into the solution during the presentation. The order is important. Premature presentation will leave the prospect unsatisfied.

Andrew Shedden is an industrial marketing consultant and coach who helps manufacturers attract and sell more ideal customers. For free business growth resources visit

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