I’m going to start a new set of blog posts focused on things that I would like to see disappear–or at least disappear in certain contexts. I’m not sure how long this series will go, but I’ve got a few ideas and welcome suggestions from readers.
First on the list – The Logo Slide (as a core component of sales presentations):
We’ve all seen this slide. A company shares a slide with a bunch of logos, many of them recognized brands, as customers. It is an attempt at establishing credibility and legitimacy. Its origins pre-date the web, when it was harder to learn about new companies and products.
It needs to disappear from the core of sales presentations. Today, it is much easier to learn information about companies and products–just go online. If someone is willing to meet with you, you can expect that some (or many) of the participants in the meeting have done some homework. A level of credibility has already been established. Therefore a generic logo slide is significantly less valuable than it used to be.
Instead of logo slides, pepper your sales presentations with actual customer stories and customer quotes. That is the real way to establish credibility.
Should logo slides disappear entirely? Maybe not. As appendix material (leave-behinds) that prove you have more customers (and stories) than the ones you shared, they can be useful. For investors and partners, again as a supplement to real customer stories they can be helpful. But that context is key. Logo slides reinforce credibility. They don’t establish it anymore.
What can be done to help logo slides disappear?
Okay, this advice is going to be a bit crass, but here is my suggestion. Whenever you are in the audience and a logo slide is presented in the context of the discussion, politely interrupt the speaker. Ask them to tell you the story of what one of the “logos” is doing with the product. Then ask for another. Don’t pick the most obvious logos, be creative! You could take this as far as you want, without being rude (or based on how the speaker responds). I suspect that in most cases, there won’t be much of a story coming.
You can ask other questions as well. Things like “Which of these companies are still using your products/services today?”, “Which ones have an enterprise deployment?”, and so on. To be fair, pick questions that are relevant to your situation.
If they can’t answer them, then (again politely) state “We are much more interested in hearing customer stories that are similar to our situation than seeing logos.”
Bye, Bye Logo Slide.
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