Last week I shared a recent conversation with a client about increasing his company’s hit rate by just 10% would gross them millions over the coming years. This got me thinking about the opposite side of things – what is the cost of a bad presentation.
- Lower Hit Rate – Most professional service firms present to win bids. This allows the prospective client to get to know the team that will do the work and discuss their project more in detail. Companies with seasoned, strong presenters easily have a stronger closing rate over weaker presenters because strong presentation skills represent knowledge and professionalism to prospects.
- Less Speaking Opportunities – Strong presentations perpetuate into more presentations, media interviews, and opportunities to write articles in your clients’ trade publications. A poor presentation can eliminate future chances of each of these PR (pubic relations) opportunities.
- Fewer Opportunities from Speaking Engagements – Most B2B (business-to-business) firms do some type of content marketing to attract new clients, which usually includes presentations for client associations. Just because you give a presentation doesn’t mean you automatically get new clients. Sometimes the opposite happens – you scare them away permanently with a bad presentation because you don’t sound professional and they do not feel comfortable hiring you.
- Lower Billing Rate – Presentations position strong presenters as industry thought leaders and thought leaders make 20-300% more because of their level knowledge and expertise.
Besides the lost opportunities, poor speaking skills is also a waste of time. If you can close only 1 out of 5 prospective clients with a presentation, then you’re wasting time on lost opportunities. Closing just 1 out of 4 prospects means you have one less presentation (and proposal) to prepare for, which saves your firm money too.
Other soft costs of poor communication include mistakes internally, confused clients, and less repeat work because clients do not enjoy working with you.