Bob Berting Article

  “Seventeen Minutes Is About All You’ve Got”

By Bob Berting, Berting Communications

When you’re making a sales presentation, after 17 minutes, prospects start to lose interest. Boredom sets in: they remember things they could or should be doing, they stop listening attentively. When you start losing their attention, you start losing your chance to make a sale.

The answer is to pack more punch in that 17 minute period. How do you do that? Not by talking faster, but by presenting better. That means using your laptop more efficiently and effectively. Why are laptop visual aids so important and widely ignored by the very people who can profit most from them? I think ego comes into it. Advertising salespeople like to talk and they like to think they are persuasive…. and they are. But if they go into the presentation to wing it—after all, they know their stuff—the prospect will sit there and listen while they tell them the entire story about our publication. In effect, sometimes the advertising salesperson likes to hear his or her own words…to the detriment of reaching the ego hot buttons of the prospect.

How to make a laptop visual aid pay off for you

They give you control and speed. Without control, you can’t achieve speed, and without speed, you can’t maintain control. If you aren’t in control, you can’t sell. Many times right at the beginning of an appointment, advertising salespeople lose control. They must take command of the selling situation to establish their professionalism, which means they must know every page or slide of their visual aid completely at the start of the presentation, and not stumble over words or phrases. If the salesperson is not 100% totally prepared to give the presentation content in the right sequence and stumble over important benefits of advertising in the publication, the prospect could become irritated and begin to lose faith in the salesperson and their publication fast. The bottom line is that the salesperson doesn’t want to look disorganized and inefficient.

3 vital areas of good visual aids

Good visual aids employ psychological methods to convince prospects on both the emotional and logical levels that they should buy from you.

The 3 vital areas are:

  1. Visual aids tell them who you and your publication are. Many businesses feel all newspaper publications are the same. A strong visual aid gives you a chance to blow your publication’s horn without seeming to brag.
  2. Visual aids tell them what your publication has done to help other businesses in the marketplace (maybe even their competitors) and what good the publication has done for the community like United Way, etc.
  3. Visual aids tell them what you’re going to do for them, both specifically and graphically and what benefits they’ll receive after they begin a creative advertising campaign in your publication. A picture is worth a thousand words when it comes to conveying emotional impact.

Watch the prospect’s reactions

From their facial expressions and movements, you may discover what does and doesn’t interest them. Make mental notes of these emotional markers as they may guide you to a successful sale.


Bob is the author of 3 best-selling e-books for the newspaper industry “Dynamic Sales and Image Power”—“Advanced Selling Skills For The Advertising Sales Pro”—and his latest e-book ”Power Selling Tools For The Advertising Sales Consultant”. Any one book is 19.95…any two books is 35.00…all three books are bundled at 49.95.You can order Bob’s books on his website: www.bobberting.com.

Read Bob’s books and discover how his vast experience and know-how can help you achieve much more business for you and your publication. You’ll greatly benefit from the wisdom of one of America’s top advertising sales experts.

Bob is a professional speaker, advertising sales trainer, publisher marketing consultant, and leading columnist in many national and regional newspaper trade association publications. He is the President of Berting Communications and can be reached at bob@bobberting.com or 317-849-5408.

Bob is a professional speaker, advertising sales trainer, publisher marketing consultant, and leading columnist in many national and regional newspaper trade association publications. He is the President of Berting Communications and can be reached at bob@bobberting.com or 317-849-5408.