Is Your Message Getting Through in a Sales Presentation?

As a sales coach, I often hear a sales representative make the excuse for a lost sale, that their prospect just did not listen to their sales presentation. Most psychologists suggest that, “Effective communication occurs when the receiver receives the message the sender intended to send.” From this definition, it is clear that the responsibility for effective communications rests with the sales professional.

Every day in businesses across the country, customer or client contact personnel and prospects, customers or clients have difficulty sending and receiving messages. Although there are many factors that can block or interfere with effective dialogue, one of the most common among sales professionals is the use of jargon or a specific industry’s terminology during a sales presentation. We use words that are familiar to us because we regularly hear them from our co-workers and read them in our product literature and industry publications. Unfortunately, many of these words and phrases are not understood by many potential customers or clients even though they may have heard the terms before when giving a sales presentation.

For example, on a recent sales presentation call with a financial service representative who was presenting a mutual fund to a prospective client, the salesperson moved successfully through each of six steps of the selling process up to the point of presenting his investment product. As the salesperson began to talk about the product, out came a mouthful of financial jargon like: market validity, default potential, investment equity, and more! It was apparent that his potential client was not receiving the message, but the salesperson didn’t even realize it. When making a sales presentation, make certain that you leave industry terminology and jargon at the door. To learn more about making effective sales presentations, check out the new e-learning manual at