How Many Presentations a Week are You Giving?

In my last blog I mentioned that I’ve been conversing with a number of salespeople who have sought to tap into my decades of experience, seek advice, which is why I felt compelled to post Chapter 34—The Approach—of my upcoming book.  During these telephone-counseling sessions it became apparent to me how many salespeople out there need help with their weak cold calling/approach, to say nothing of how few presentations they’re giving.

In almost every case, after digging deep, asking questions, I discovered they’re not presenting enough.  None of them!  The average, believe it or not, seems to be three to five a week, when their companies are looking for at least ten.  When challenged, to an individual they admitted they weren’t working hard enough.  How busy you are does not equate with how hard or smart you’re working, folks!

A young man I spoke to last November—we’ll call him Tim—is a national sales manager who has achieved a fair amount of success so far and has 20 people around the country to manage; he’s 45, a terrific father and husband, and to say I like him would be an understatement.  But when I asked him how many presentations he was giving a week, he proudly said, “I’m making 50 calls a day.”

“I didn’t ask you how many calls you’re making,” I said; “I want to know how many presentations you’re giving.”

He hesitated, nothing but silence.

“Is it five or less?” I asked.

“Yeah…,” he admitted rather reluctantly.

“The same for all your people?”


The astonishing part of this tale is that Tim’s company doesn’t seem overly concerned with this problem.  Figuratively speaking, I’d be cracking heads.  When, I’d like to know, did mediocrity become so acceptable?  It’s like the kids today (plenty of adults, too) whose writing mechanics resemble hieroglyphics.

I lit into Tim with some heartfelt tough love: “Is it possible to give two, three presentations a day in your business?” I challenged.

That wouldn’t be a problem, he said.

“Then that’s what you need to start doing,” I told him.  “If you’re going to demand that out of all your people—and you should!—you’ve got to set the example.  A pro makes enough calls to fill his/her work schedule—period.  It doesn’t matter if it’s 50 or 150.”

Not long after we spoke I received the following email from Tim:



I wanted to thank you for taking the time to help me yesterday; I greatly appreciate it. You did not have to do it but offered the most valuable resource there is to do it, one’s time. I have thought a great deal of your advice and how it will improve my sales. I have always been willing to do the work, as that has not been my biggest barrier in sales. Two main areas of concern—not  feeling the equal of my prospect and making sure that I had an answer to every rebuttal, being so prepared I could handle anything in regards to cold calling. There have been times in my sales career when I did do those things and met with success.

I will work on my “confidence and power” on the phone, as well as focus on the number of presentations I do in a week. I get up and am in my office everyday at 5am working on improving myself. Reading all of the books I have mentioned before. I have now starting reading Think and Grow Rich again.  I have learned through reading Jim Rohn that in order to earn more money the key is to improve yourself. I have seen that and know that it works.

In closing I think of a Zig Ziglar quote: “People don’t care what you know until they know how much you care.”  I know you care and I and others are very thankful for that. I was also very touched for the love and importance you have for your wife, as I feel the same way. I will stay in touch and let you know of my improvements.

My best to you for a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I can’t begin to tell you how gratifying it is to receive a letter like that; let’s me know my purpose in life is succeeding.

There can be exceptions to this rule, of course, but under normal circumstances if you want to be a true sales professional, you’ve got to give two to three presentations a day, four to five days a week, usually not less than ten for the week.  I strongly suggest you consider getting in 10 to 12 Monday through Thursday, take Friday off—man does not live by work alone.  If you’re giving 10 to 12 presentations a week, instead of the miserable three to five you’re now giving, and you’re closing 40% to 60% of them, your boss—if he has half a brain—isn’t going to say a word to you about taking Fridays for yourself.

Remember the Sales Triangle: Mental Attitude, Work Habits, and Salesmanship.

If you’re not giving at least 10 to 12 presentations a week, you’re kidding yourself more than the Cowardly Lion did before Dorothy slapped him back to reality.  There is no molesting Mother Law of Averages!  You have to do the work!  There is no compromise here!

If you want to talk about it, call me; that’s what I’m here for.  But know this: I’m not going to pussyfoot around with you; I’m going to tell it like it is.  I’m going to tell you that your approach needs to be strong and you have to do the work the way the pros do it.

The moral here is go to work!  Count your calls if you want to, you should; but remember, it’s the presentations that really matter!