How to use the “About Us” information; Issue #265 July 10, 2012

Presentation Tip: How to use “About Us” information

In a past article I spoke about the way to structure a sales presentation and suggested that the information about your firm should come after you have demonstrated the solution to their problem. In this article I want to expand on what to do with the “About Us” information that too many presenters feel is essential to include at the start of a presentation.

The first thing I would do is challenge you on how necessary it is to include a large amount of information about you and your organization. If you are delivering a sales presentation, you have been invited to present because they know who you are and think that you can provide a solution to their problem. You don’t get the chance to do a presentation if you are a stranger.

So, based on what I just said, do I think you should have any information about your firm? Yes. But I think the information you provide must be relevant and in the right spot in the presentation. I think the worst spot to put information about your firm is right at the start, opening the presentation. The presentation needs to be about solving the problem, not all about you. At the start of the presentation the audience won’t know why the information is relevant yet, because they haven’t heard the proposed solution.

Don’t share detailed information about your firm until after you have shown that you can solve their problem. Once they have seen that you have a solution, then they are open to hearing why your firm should be the one providing the solution. But don’t start spewing forth every statistic about your company. The information you share must be relevant to providing the solution you have just outlined.

For example, don’t share how long you have been in business unless you are sharing it to illustrate that you are reliable and will be around to service the solution you are proposing. Don’t share how many people work for your company unless you are sharing how many specialists you have in the specific area that will be providing this solution. Don’t share your past client list unless you are using a case study to illustrate how you solved a similar problem for a similar organization (see this article on writing case studies). For more examples, watch this slide makeover video I did on transforming the "About Us" slide: YouTube link or Brainshark link.

When you do share information about your firm, don’t make it hard to understand. One client had an organization chart showing the top executives down to the people who would be heading up the solution team. It was so big that they used five point font for the text labels. The audience couldn’t read it at all, so it confused them more than anything.

Consider putting some of the detailed background information in a handout instead of the body of your presentation. This gives the audience reference information that they can use later if they want to. It keeps the focus of the presentation on the solution to their problem.

This approach also makes it easier for you as the presenter. One client who used this approach told me after the presentation that he felt he was better able to focus on the solution and the client. He admitted that he would not have been presenting if they didn’t know his firm, so to spend much time on the company would not be adding any new information in the presentation.

In a sales presentation, only include information about your company when it helps reinforce why your solution is the best one. Don’t include information just to brag or boast. Focus the information about your organization and it will help the audience understand why your solution is the best one for them. Apply this idea in your future sales presentations and they will be more effective.