Self-presentation versus client benefit

Why you don’t need to talk too much about yourself in a company presentation.

Imagine the following scenario. You’re a company decision maker, and a potential business partner wants to make a pitch. He appears competent and friendly, and you invite him for an initial meeting. He arrives on time, and you settle down in the meeting room. And then it happens.

This pleasant, smartly dressed gentleman proceeds to relate the history of the family firm – in each and every detail since it was founded in 1923. 20 minutes later. You stare at the screen. Next topic: company mission and values. You’ve not yet exchanged a single word with each other. And your next appointment is in 10 minutes. Are you going to appoint this supplier? Probably not. And for a good reason.


The potential business partner did his best, but ignored some fundamental rules of successful company presentations. Or maybe he just wasn’t aware of them. It’s really to do with taking the other perspective – putting yourself in your listener’s situation, as in the example above. The only thing that really interests your potential client is what your firm can do for his. And this information can’t be found in excessive self-presentation and purple-prosed hymns of praise for your company.

How can you make your company presentation more ‘helpful’? By observing four simple rules:

  1. Establish a relationship with the client and put yourself in their position. Which product or service is the right one for them? What are the advantages to the client of appointing you? How much time do they have? Be brief and to the point. Up to three advantages are enough.
  2. Find out about the target group. Who does your potential client work for? Who are their customers? Which services could benefit these customers?
  3. Refer to a real situation that is currently affecting your potential client. Don’t talk about what you can do – show them by entering into a dialogue. Perhaps you can help directly with a current problem. And make yourself indispensable at the same time.
  4. Structure your presentation according to relevance. Advantages and client benefits come first, then methods and working procedures. Keep self-presentation to a minimum.

Your company presentation will always vary a little depending on the client, the occasion, importance and the target group. Instead of a one-size-fits-all standard presentation, this calls for a construction-kit approach with flexible elements. More on this in one of our next posts.


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