Do you start your presentation with WHY?

I watched a video recently by Simon Sinek,  it was a keynote he delivered recently at a Corporate Visions event. I have been following Corporate Visions for years so I was happy to see how generous they were by letting the world see the videos and slides of their 2011 Marketing and Sales Alignment Conference (videos no longer available, unfortunately).

There is a part that is very applicable to many presentations seen today. Simon makes a comparison between dating and a sales call.

Here is what Simon says:

“We sit across from someone at the other end of the table, we whip out our PowerPoints, and what do we start doing?

  • we’re the biggest in our industry
  • we’re very good at what we do
  • we have beautiful offices, you should come and visit us sometime
  • we do business with all the biggest brands
  • we are pretty well known, you might have seen us in the press
  • we’re doing pretty well for ourselves”

This does not work.  This is not how we should start a sales presentation.

If you watch the entire video you will understand why presentations that talk about “what and how” often don’t get any results.

Recently I was teaching a marketing workshop to a group of  Italian IT resellers and when they were developing the agenda for a hypothetical event the first item of the day was the company presentation.  But earlier in the day when we were talking about why they do customer events, the primary reason was “to solve customer problems”.

Remember to start with the why.
This engages the audience much more than beginning with a standard company presentation.

Simon Sinek is the author of a book titled “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action.” His website is Startwithwhy.com.