Presentation déjà vu could be a sign you are dealing with a problem analyst

Something that always stands out in my experience as an AR manager at a major vendor is what I call “presentation déjà vu.” This happens when you are reviewing an analyst presentation and just feel like you’ve seen it before. This typically occurs when you are looking at the slides of an analyst you have not dealt with before. Perhaps you have seen the presentation before or maybe the deck is just so generic or archetypical that it is immediately recognizable. No big deal. However, presentation déjà vu might also be a warning signal that you are dealing with a type of problem analyst.

Some analysts fall into a trap of doing a light revision of a past presentation for an upcoming conference. This is especially true for Gartner analysts who have to do essentially the same presentation year-after-year at Symposium (e.g., the Powerhouse Vendor and its successor session Gartner Compares). This can be a real problem because if the analyst is not paying careful attention in the revision process, old information and recommendations could be repeated.  This may cause tech buyers to make wrong decisions resulting in missed sales opportunities for vendors who are mis-represented. This could be disastrous for both the IT manager and the vendor.

Rather than pouncing on the analyst for using an old, lightly dusted off presentation, it is critical to understand the characteristics of the analyst who is using old content. Are they a “Know it All,” “Lazy” or “Overworked” analyst? These are all types of Problem Analysts that SageCircle has identified and each requires a different type of response.

One technique to determine whether you are dealing with a generically formatted presentation or a problem analyst is by becoming an archeologist and digging through past presentations by the same analyst and firm. I have seen situations where basically the same presentation or slides were used for four straight years. Needless to say, my employer, its competitors, and the market had changed dramatically in those four years, but you would never have known it from the presentation.

To provide AR professionals with the tools needed identify the type of analyst they are dealing with, SageCircle is conducting the Dealing with Problem Analysts webinar on September 17th at 8:30 am PT and 4 pm PT. Click here for more information including the agenda. Click here to register for this information packed webinar.

SageCircle Technique:

  • AR professionals – If struck by presentation déjà vu take some time to determine why
  • AR professionals – If confronted with a recycled presentation using out-of-date content, do not immediately attack the analyst, rather determine the type of analyst you are dealing with and adjust your actions
  • AR professionals – Develop a response plan that takes into account the type of analyst
  • Analysts – Don’t fall into the trap of doing a light revision of old presentations

Bottom Line: Presentation déjà vu can be harmless (e.g., generic format) or a sign of a real problem (e.g., out-of-date content). AR teams should not let this situation pass, but use it as a trigger to dig through past presentations to see if the analyst fell into the trap of dusting off an old presentation.

Question: AR teams – Do you have examples of analysts recycling old presentations with negative consequences?

Related problem analyst posts:

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