[Note: This is a guest Passle from my colleague James Hipkiss who leads our UK sales activity at Oxford Capital. You can find James's bio here https://uk.linkedin.com/in/james-hipkiss-74725216 ]

Sales pitches that lead with either product or firm are typically not very effective. The accepted wisdom therefore is to highlight a problem, or establish a need, and then differentiate how your product best delivers the solution.  

The unintended consequence of this approach is that it can place your audience on the defensive if they are not aware of the problem, or are uncomfortable with the solution.  

Andy Raskin’s recent article ‘The Greatest Slide Deck I’ve Ever Seen’ offers an interesting take on crafting a sales pitch that gets around these obstacles. Creating an inclusive narrative that is sensitive to a client’s objectives and addresses their inherent ‘loss aversion’, creates the context to evidence how your product or service can deliver a successful outcome – an outcome that they can then articulate after your sales meeting.  It’s a balance of education and sales pitch, in a framework, as Raskin notes, very much in the allegorical tradition.  Whilst no single sales approach offers a panacea, the article is definitely worth a read the next time you’re updating your slide deck or honing your firm’s sales message – ideally in conjunction.