Star Trek Sales Training Academy: Setting the Table for a Sales Presentation

Every Star Trek Episode opens with the same type of introduction:

"Captain's Log, star date 2010, we are on a mission to find the elusive, highly profitable selling system. We are accompanied by sagging sales and a dejected crew. Our mission is to refresh our sales team by seeking out new sources of revenue and new communities of users..."

Well, maybe it isn't an exact quote, but you get the idea.

Our second installment of the truly "universal" sales training school is all about getting the party started right.  I have seen far too many sales people jump into a sales presentation without making the audience aware of when and why this meeting is happening. This selling technique will not cut it.

Sales Presentation Tips from Star Trek

For the benefit of the audience, the captain on Star Trek makes a journal entry at the beginning of every episode. This ensures that the audience is brought up-to-speed and that everyone - from the Star Trek newbie to the dyed-in-the-wool Trekkie - is on the same page.

Inspired by Star Trek, below are three key elements to set the table for your meeting or sales presentation:

1. State where you have been.

Make sure your audience knows what you have done to earn the right to be here, and how you have come to this point. Briefly explain the chain of events that necessitated the meeting or sales presentation.

2. Acknowledge players that are new to the audience.

If there are players in the room, or on the call, that the other players have not met, make sure they are introduced properly. Define their roles and the value they will be adding. If they do not add value...beam them elsewhere.

3. State your mission (i.e. sales objectives).

If you aim your phaser at nothing, you are sure to hit it.  The same is true for a sales meeting or presentation. Explain your objectives and best possible outcomes to your audience.  

Sales Advantage of Setting the Table

This selling technique should be used at the onset of every sales meeting, as it establishes your leadership role in the sales process. Remember, there are far too many nameless non-descript crew members. The sales industry needs more main-character types who are not afraid to assert their leadership.

After all, we know what happened to the nameless ensign who accompanied the landing party to the planet's surface...


By David Tyner 

Photo Credit: Vjent, Creative Commons



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