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  • Writer's pictureBrian McKenzie

The Perils of Using Clients' or Prospective Clients' Colors in Sales Presentations

Updated: Jul 30, 2023

As companies strive to impress clients and prospective clients, it's essential to strike a balance between personalization and maintaining the integrity of their own brand. One common mistake is branding sales presentations with the colors of the company they are presenting to. Although it may seem like a thoughtful gesture, this approach can backfire and have detrimental effects on both parties involved.

Risk of Offending Prospective Clients: Using the wrong colors in a sales presentation can be a recipe for disaster. As a former Chief Marketing Officer and someone who has been involved in many branding engagements, I know firsthand that a lot of thought goes into choosing the right color palette for a company’s brand. You might think you are choosing the right color but in my experience, salespeople or even some designers get it wrong more often than not. And there might be one person in the room that will notice. As a result, your presentation, regardless of how well your narrative might be, risks leaving a bad impression on your client or prospect.

Diminishing the Value of Your Own Brand: Your brand's colors play a significant role in representing your company's values, personality, and identity. When you adopt the colors of the client, you inadvertently dilute the strength of your own brand. Consistency is key in reinforcing brand recognition and trust among clients and prospects. By altering your brand's colors in sales presentations, you risk confusing your target audience and weakening the powerful association they have with your brand.

Displaying a Lack of Confidence in Your Company: Confidence in your company and its offerings is critical when making a sales pitch. Employing the prospective client's colors may inadvertently signal insecurity about your brand's own visual identity and value proposition. This lack of confidence could translate into doubts about your company's capabilities and overall professionalism, ultimately reducing the likelihood of securing the deal. Plus, keep in mind that your client or prospect sees their colors every day in their own materials. Be different and lead with your brand.

Failure to Stand Out: In an attempt to win over the client, you may inadvertently fall into the same trap as your competition. If multiple companies use the client's colors in their presentations, it becomes challenging for prospective clients to distinguish one from the other. Rather than standing out, your sales presentation may blend into a sea of similarly colored materials, leading to missed opportunities to leave a lasting impact.

While personalization is a crucial aspect of successful sales presentations, adopting a client's or prospective client's colors can be a risky and counterproductive move. Instead, focus on understanding the needs of the client, tailoring your messaging to resonate with them, and demonstrating the unique value your brand brings to the table. By emphasizing your company's strengths and maintaining a consistent brand identity, you will build trust, make a memorable impression, and increase the likelihood of turning prospects into loyal clients.

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