Which wins in an A/B test? Pitch Deck vs. Diagnostic Deck

Influencing The Buyer’s Vision When You Are Late to the Opportunity

A buyer needs to understand your offering, so you should walk them through the Corporate Pitch deck in your first meeting, right?

Here are seven observations from call recordings that compare these two approaches:

  1. Discovery calls that employ a Corporate Pitch Deck
  2. Discovery calls that use my Diagnostic Deck

Since you may suspect that I am biased, you may want to try an A/B test yourself. Try it both ways, record the calls and then review the results.

1. What happens on “Discovery Calls”

  1. The use of a Corporate Pitch Deck reduces the diagnostic portion of the call to less than 10% of the time. 90% of the time is spent walking through the slides in order.
  2. The Diagnostic Deck focuses the conversation on the buyer’s unique needs and their Utopian vision.

2. Presentation Quality

  1. In a Corporate Pitch, you share a lot of information you hope is relevant. Buyers may be overwhelmed.
  2. In a diagnostic conversation you share a little information that is 100% relevant to their unique situation. Buyers can understand it easily.

3. Intellectual versus Emotional

  1. A corporate pitch is typically an attempt to make a perfect intellectual argument. In cases where they got the pitch last year, they do not remember what you said. It’s like fifty first dates.
  2. In a diagnostic call, you focus on their specific needs and diagnose deeply to get to:
    • Their expressed need
    • Root causes
    • Impact
    • Cost of doing nothing
    • Personal priority

People decide emotionally and justify intellectually.

4. Objections

  1. Generic presentations create objections in the buyer’s mind because your pitch doesn’t seem relevant to them. On recordings they often say just that. “It seems very cool, just not for us.”
  2. Leading with a diagnostic conversation prevents most objections because people don’t argue with their own ideas.

5. Buyer Engagement

  1. During most Corporate Pitches, buyers tune out.
      • On videoconferences they turn their video off when you open the slide deck. If you are bold enough to ask them why, they will tell you they are “multi-tasking.”
      • When you ask if the pitch makes sense, they respond with one word
  2. A diagnostic conversation ensures the buyer is engaged throughout the conversation.

6. Talk Ratio

  1. Talk ratios in which the seller does most of the talking correlate with losses.
  2. Talk ratios in which the buyer does most of the talking correlate with success.

7. Perception

  1. Pitching leads to the impression that you are a stereotypical salesperson.
  2. If you are a skilled and patient diagnostician, you are viewed as someone who cares, adds value, and can be trusted.

Pitch (out) the Pitch Deck

In 2022, buyers already know most of what’s in your Corporate Pitch before they come to sales calls. If you ask, they will tell you they are there to discuss the specifics of their situation.

Pitch out the pitch deck and diagnose instead.

If you’d like a copy of the Diagnostic Deck, please let me know and I’ll send you the template.