Often, this is what a confident sales rep says when discussing the brief for a sales presentation. For industry insiders, it is true that you do not have to elaborate much about issues they already know. But I think plunging straight into features, benefits, and solutions is the wrong approach.

It is much easier to sell a problem than to sell a solution. Almost all my sales and investor presentations elaborate on the problem.

  • For sales presentations, it is a good opportunity to discuss individual issues the client has. The best sales presentations talk about the client, and not about the seller. Even if it is old news for the audience, it is good to start your story on common ground. And most importantly, I often present the solution using a slide layout that I already introduced during the problem part of the presentation. "Here is that same slide we discussed before but now with that big messy part ripped out".
  • For investor presentations, you actually need to educate the audience about the issue that your innovation is solving. So here the problem section is actually very important.

So, next time push back when they tell you to skip the problem.

Art: DalĂ­ Atomicus (1948) by Halsman in an un-retouched version
Subscribe to this blog, follow me on Twitter

If you liked this post, why not subscribe to daily updates about presentation design via email? Just blog posts, no spam, or you can follow Jan on Twitter to never miss a thing.