Gartner Research

First-Meeting Mistakes 1-10 and How Tech CEOs Can Avoid Them

Published: 04 September 2018

ID: G00365871

Analyst(s): Rob Addy


This research covers the top 10 mistakes seen within introductory sales presentations. Tech CEOs seeking to increase win rates and reduce sales cycle times must avoid common errors and establish a “route to the purchase order” if they are to succeed.

Table Of Contents


  • The Top 10 Introductory Sales Presentation Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
    • 1. Inwardly Focused, Self-Indulgent and Self-Congratulatory Rhetoric
    • 2. Inappropriate or Inadequate Use of Customer References or Poorly Positioned References
    • 3. Showing Prospects Every Conceivable Option; Not Making a Definite Proposal; Not Having a Clear Idea of What You Want to Sell
    • 4. Value Story Missing, Silly or Reliant Upon Tenuous and Unproven Assumptions; Failure to Connect the Dots and Make It Easy for Prospects to See the Value
    • 5. Insufficient Characterization; Not Including Something for the Key Stakeholders to Emotionally Connect With
    • 6. Overly Ambiguous Language and an Excessive Volume of Meaningless “Weasel” Words Without Any Form of Quantified Qualifier
    • 7. Not Dealing With the “Do Nothing” Option; Failing to Derisk the Transition Activity
    • 8. Lack of Evidence or Substantive Proof; Insufficient Volume of Credible Numbers or Data Points to Establish Context and Impact
    • 9. Failure to Answer Questions Effectively/Convincingly
    • 10. Overfocus on the Needs of the User to the Detriment of the Needs of the Customer
  • The Four Primary Objectives of the Introductory Sales Presentation and the Two Use Cases It Must Address
  • Why This Research Matters
  • Putting This Guidance Into Practice

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