Sales Deck Mistakes | Having the best sales deck in the world isn’t going to mean much if you’re making these ten common mistakes. A strong sales deck won’t magically give you an audience, but it will make sure that you’re able to clearly communicate your product and pitch it in a way that resonates with your potential customers—and then convinces them to buy it.
If you’re making any of these ten mistakes, though, there’s a good chance that your message will fall flat and leave your audience underwhelmed at best and actively disdainful at worst.
10 Sales Deck Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Business
1) Not enough customer stories
Your sales deck should be chock-full of customer stories. Why? Because they’re relatable, they’re persuasive, and they help your audience understand how your product or service can help them solve their specific problem. Without customer stories, your sales deck is likely to fall flat.
One way to use a customer story in your presentation is by including it as the first slide so that you’ve got it on display throughout the rest of the presentation. Another way would be to summarize each case study into a slide with bullet points.
Then at the end of each slide, you could add a sentence or two that summarizes what happened next: what changes did they make? What were the results? Did it take awhile for customers to get used to the change? Did they come back for more because of the improved experience?
Did new customers see their sign and come in because of word-of-mouth referrals from previous customers who had already tried out the new system? It all depends on what you want out of this particular story. But there are plenty of options for showing a customer’s transformation from before and after using your product. Don’t let these types of opportunities pass you by!
2) Extraneous slides
Most sales decks are too long, and contain extraneous slides that do nothing to further the sale. If your sales deck contains any of the following mistakes, it could be doing more harm than good.
- Don’t start with a bang: Your first slide should introduce you and your company, not try to dazzle the prospect with technical jargon or industry buzzwords.
- Don’t make it all about you: A sales deck is not a place to brag about your company’s accomplishments or list every product you offer. The focus should be on the customer and how you can solve their problems.
- Don’t rely on bullet points: People don’t read bullet points, they skim them. Even if they read them, they usually don’t retain much information from those bullet points. You want to engage the reader and get their attention as quickly as possible by using images and words.
- Don’t overwhelm with details: Not only does overwhelming prospects leave an impression that you’re unprepared for this meeting, but the longer someone reads your deck, the less likely they are to remember what was said later in the presentation. Keep sentences short so readers will pay attention to what you’re saying instead of tuning out.
3) Forgetting your USP
Your unique selling proposition (USP) is what sets your business apart from the competition. It’s what makes you special and worth paying attention to. If you forget to include your USP in your sales deck, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
You’re essentially telling potential customers that there’s nothing unique or special about your business. They may not even bother looking at your deck if they don’t see anything that differentiates you from the rest.
Including your USP will help you stand out from the crowd. For example, We’ve been successfully running for 10 years. What does this mean? Well, it means that this company has been around for a long time and has grown their customer base through hard work over time.
4) Putting the call to action too late
If you wait until the end of your sales deck to include a call to action, you’re doing it wrong. A call to action should be one of the first things you include in your deck, preferably on the first slide. By putting it off until the end, you risk losing your audience’s attention and never getting them to take the desired action.
The most common mistake with this is that the presenter is already walking away from the podium before they make their final point. And then they just have time for a quick thank you before they leave! There are two common solutions to this problem:
- Have somebody else on stage as well so that person can engage with the audience.
- Take more time during your presentation (don’t rush through) so that there’s still enough time for an interactive discussion or Q&A at the end.
- Putting text on slides instead of speaking: Speaking isn’t easy and PowerPoint has made it even easier to put words up on the screen instead of saying them out loud. But when you do this, you’ve done yourself a disservice because now nobody is actually listening to what you’re saying! In fact, studies show that 90% of people don’t read what’s on a slide when someone speaks at the same time.
- So if all you’re doing is reading from your slides, stop talking immediately and spend some time rehearsing how to use those slides effectively. Making mistakes about design: The way your deck looks may not seem like something important but color has been shown to affect how we feel about content and different colors evoke different emotions.
5) Too much clutter in slides
The first mistake is having too much clutter in your slides. This makes it difficult for the audience to focus on the most important points. To avoid this, use clean and simple designs with plenty of white space. You can also leave certain slides blank or use different design elements such as charts or graphs.
The font should be easy to read: Another common mistake is using a font that’s hard to read. The font should be easy to read from a distance so the viewer doesn’t have any problems reading the text. You can also provide an option to enlarge the font if necessary.
Too many words per slide: You want to keep each slide short and concise, typically no more than three bullet points or three sentences max.
The following are some guidelines you may want to follow when designing your sales deck:
- Have at least one slide without any text.
- Use visuals (such as graphics) instead of words whenever possible.
- Do not put more than three bullet points on a single slide.
- Make sure every sentence contains one point.
- Limit the amount of detail for each point
Avoid these mistakes by staying organized with your content, making sure it’s easy to read and includes only key information!
6) Data overload
- Don’t try to cram too much information into your sales deck. More isn’t always better, and when it comes to presentations, less is often more.
- resist the urge to data dump. Yes, you want to provide your audience with enough information to make an informed decision, but overwhelming them with data will only serve to confuse and frustrate them.
- When it comes to data, quality is more important than quantity. So focus on using only the most relevant and useful data in your presentation.
- Don’t make the mistake of thinking that adding more charts and graphs will make your presentation more persuasive. In reality, too many visuals can actually distract from your key points.
- Keep in mind that not all data is created equal.
7) Over-reliance on visuals or videos
Yes, your sales deck should be visually appealing. But don’t rely too heavily on visuals or videos to carry your message. The focus should be on your content, not on the bells and whistles. No matter how beautiful you make your presentation, if it doesn’t provide value for your prospects then they won’t care.
You need to do a lot more than just show them pretty pictures. Avoid over-use of design elements like fonts, colors, images and other graphic elements in an effort to create an aesthetically pleasing design.
One of the most common mistakes people make is relying too much on graphics and other design elements when creating their sales decks in PowerPoint.
These designs are often intended to present information in a way that’s attractive and easy-to-understand – but this can lead many business owners into relying too much on those graphics rather than delivering a message that resonates with their audience.
When done poorly, these presentations end up being flashy without substance; there’s no meaning behind what’s being said or shown because everything relies on visuals instead of verbal communication.
8) Insufficient proof points and examples of what you can do for them
Proof points are often in the form of testimonials, case studies, or statistics. If you don’t have enough of these, it’s not a good sign. You want to provide enough examples so that your prospects see themselves in your story.
They need to understand how you’ll be able to help them and why they should choose you over the competition. Without proof points, there is no compelling reason for people to buy from you.
9) Poor font choices that are hard to read from far away
Your sales deck is the first impression potential investors will have of your business, so you want to make sure it’s a good one. Unfortunately, many people make the mistake of using poor font choices that are hard to read from far away.
This can be a huge turn-off for investors and can make your business look unprofessional. To avoid this mistake, use simple fonts that are easy to read, and make sure the text is large enough to be seen from a distance. Remember, the closer an investor gets to reading your deck, the more likely they’ll be convinced by what they see.
10) Blocking out your background with white
If you’re creating a sales deck, there are a few things you definitely want to avoid. First, make sure your background is white. A lot of people try to get creative with their backgrounds, but it ends up looking messy and distracting.
Second, avoid using too many font types. Stick to one or two fonts that are easy to read. Third, don’t use small font sizes. Again, you want your audience to be able to read your slides easily. Fourth, avoid using too much text on each slide.
Try to keep your slides concise and to the point. Fifth, don’t include low-quality images in your sales deck. Only use high-quality images that are relevant to your content. Sixth, don’t use generic stock photos.
Conclusion: 10 Sales Deck Mistakes That Will Ruin Your Business
Mistakes in the sales deck can make or break your business. If you want to succeed, avoid these ten mistakes at all costs.
Don’t put off creating your sales deck. You’ll want to create a first draft at least several months before you plan to begin fundraising and make sure it is professional and polished. Put your best foot forward when you present to investors so they have no doubts about your business.
Do your research, make sure that you highlight only your best metrics, and keep it concise. Don’t leave anything out of your pitch; an investor will be looking for any flaws in your business model or concerns about its scalability. Only include what makes sense for a single page and stay on message with each slide.