Problem Solving Presentation Principals

In business we constantly look at ways to solve prospects, clients and customers problems. This ultimately leads to sales, commitment, and agreement.  After listening to thousands of presentations for the last decade, the one mistake majority of people make is that they try to solve the problem before clearly explaining the problem and cause to the client.  When you deliver your presentation, try using the following technique and see how more effective and persuasive you will be.

The problem

The first thing you need to do is to clearly describe the problem that the customer has. They may well already know this and you will have identified it from previous discussions.

Ensure that they agree that this is a problem and that it needs solving. I normally look at their body language and what you will see is that they will start to nod with their heads in agreement as you mention the problem/s. It is necessary to show or tell

them the implications of not solving the problem and highlight the pain caused.

The cause

Show them the main causes of the problem (making sure that these can be fixed using your solution). Use words like ‘because’ and ‘causing’ when you explain the causes. Make the links between causes and the problem very clear to them in your presentation. Illustrate, proof or explain to your listeners that addressing causes will resolve the problem.

If possible use one cause. If necessary use a maximum of three causes. Avoid using more than thee causes as this will shift the focus and attention from trying to solve the probelm to fault finding focus.

The solution

Accurately show how your product addresses the causes and hence fixes the problem that the customer has. Show independent reports that prove this. Demonstrate it to them if at all possible.

Here is an example

A car sales person asks why the customers are looking for a new car. The customer tells how the current car is expensive to run. The salesperson explains how some cars are not designed for easy service and others have inefficient engines. He then shows them a report that highlights running costs of different cars and then demonstrates models from the top two cars in the list.


Showing why something happens is a powerful act as it plays to the need to explain. Causes thus provide a bridge to a solution that otherwise might appear ‘magical’ and driven solely by the salesperson’s desire to sell.

If you use too many causes, this may confuse the customer and maybe make them think of more causes that your product does not resolve.

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