During the last 17-plus years, I have been part of, or have watched, hundreds of sales presentations. More recently, I viewed a series of sales demonstrations, and all but one of four sales teams opened their presentations the same way.

Here are three openers you need to avoid when starting your sales presentation:

1. Social chit-chat. Contrary to popular belief, engaging the prospect in social chit-chat at the beginning a sales presentation is not a good use of time. You may think it's important, but your prospect is busy and wants you to get to the point — quickly — so he can get back to work.

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