5 Reasons Your Sales Pitch Fell Flat

Last Updated Apr 1, 2010 10:57 AM EDT

Want to know why your pitch didn't move the sale forward? In most cases, a failed presentation is the result of one or more of the five following reasons:
  • trong>You weren't memorable. Customers treat most presentations as it they were white noise in the background. If you're going to stand out from the crowd, you need to do something that's going to stick in the mind, long after you've stopped speaking.
  • You weren't clear. If you don't understand the audience, you can't create a message that will persuade anybody. You've got to know exactly what you want to communicate and what about that communication is important to the audience.
  • You were too long-winded. Presentations should be short and sweet. Give the audience enough information and opinion so that they know where you stand. Be prepared to go deeper if there's a drill down or a request for other kinds of information.
  • You weren't really committed. If you think of yourself as simply an objective conveyor of information, the audience will perceive you as just another source of SPAM. Express an opinion and have a stake in the outcome. Demonstrate your value by being able to debate the issues.
  • You didn't didn't customize. If you try to deliver a comprehensive presentation that covers every possible detail, you'll only blow through your audience's attention span. Think of business presentation not a venue to discuss details, but a venue to provide a coherent summary.

For a more comprehensive list of presentation problems (with fix-it info) see: