November 23, 2012 fm

Don’t Contact Us

Slides speak for themselves more than we think.  For example, showing your logo on 35 slides is a not very subtle form of egocentrism.

But the climax of egocentricity comes with the standard next-to-last slide of literally all business presentations:  it’s the “Contact Us” slide.

Most of the time this slide says something like:

Contact us at info@abcdef.com or +1 111 111 111.

If you’re a dead fish floating with the flow, then just keep including this standard egocentric slide.  If, instead, you’re alive, then do it better.

Jack Vincent, author of the new sales bible Snap, Crackle ’n’ Pop, and my personal sales guru, confirms that a pitch is never a presentation to sell.  Its purpose is to start up a relationship with a prospective client.

Let’s assume you’re going to give a pitch presentation at a sector event to 150 potential buyers.  You’ve explained the three top product characteristics and the three corresponding benefits.  You’ve established a connection with your audience using all the PLUSPLUS patterns from this book*.  You’ve come to the next-to-last slide of your pitch presentation. It says: “Contact us.”  You’re asking your prospects to contact you.

I don’t know about your idea of service, but shouldn’t it be you who’s going to contact them?  Wouldn’t it convey a message of commitment and respect on your side?

I propose that you make your “Contact us” slide walk the plank.  Instead, you could, for example, show a full-screen image of a cup of coffee, and say:

For the next step, I propose we have a coffee together here at this event — today or tomorrow — and I’ll give you more information that’s tailored to your situation.

When prospects are really interested, a statement like this makes sure that they feel appreciated.  They don’t have to contact you via email — they get an exclusive one-to-one meeting, and a free coffee!

It can be a cup of coffee, it can be a glass of beer, it can be the offer to call everyone who leaves a business card with you — but make sure you get rid of this egocentric slide, “Contact Us”.

Release the slide brakes and throw out the “Contact Us” slide.


* Don’t Contact Us is one of 108 patterns for better communication brought to you in the upcoming book PLUSPLUS.

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