The Princess and the Pea. Pea. Tee.

So I’m in the market to buy a project management app for my creative agency, and I’ve sat though three sales presentations, three PPTs (Power Points), and wow, what a snooze-fest.

The first presentation was loaded with facts and figures – and complicated charts and graphs ­ ­– that this college educated guy just wasn’t following. I honestly couldn’t believe that these sales people thought I was going to be blown away by logic. Bro, marketing 101 says I aint buying based on numbers. I was so dizzy from trying to understand what all of that crap had to say, I became exasperated and disengaged. Had to wait ten more minutes to politely tell the guy to beat it.

The second Power Point appeared to have been designed by the sales person herself. Being in the graphic design biz, I’ve seen that before.

Marketing Directors invest thousands of dollars in professionally designed content (to generate the leads), only to be wasted when the sales team blows the opportunity by presenting home-made Power Points.

I couldn’t take her seriously with that and didn’t let her finish the presentation. They engaged me, but then lost me at the most critical step in the buying journey. Oh so close!

Then I sat through Pat’s presentation. I call her Princess Pat because her presentation was like royalty, elegant. Princess Pat’s PPT. Yeah, yeah, I made that part up, but her company invested in a simple, well-designed presentation that highlighted the emotional aspects of what their app could do for me, and what pain it could solve. There wasn’t much to the presentation itself, just large life style photos, with a few bits of copy here and there. No charts, no graphs, and certainly no bullet points to read verbatim. It was mostly Pat listening to me and my pain, and not selling me on features I didn’t need, nor wanted. I was emotionally invested and I didn’t even care that their app cost the most.

“Where do I sign?”

So while this is starting to sound like a fairy tale, I’m guessing it’s more like a nightmare for sales teams wondering why their closing ratios are down and why they can’t convert. Maybe it’s because companies like Pat’s work with creative agencies from the start to the end of the buying cycle, and see design as an investment, not an expense. They understand design to be a contributing factor in engagement and conversion.

So maybe we ought to be like Pat, and stop blowing opportunities with sleep-deprived DIY PPTs.

And finally, for those following along…  yes, this has been another article in the series about investing in graphic design. First two are here and here.

Greg Carmichael
Greg Carmichael

Greg is the Managing Director of Synergy Design, a creative branding agency in Streetsville (Mississauga), just outside of Toronto. Greg leads a talented team that creates effective marketing collateral for print and online, and he ensures their clients have a great experience working with them. To learn more, visit