What Is Your Marketing and Sales Q-Ratio?

Today I read an interesting post on the Neuromarketing Blog that asked public speakers about their Q-Ratio. Taken from Eric Bergman’s Five Steps to Conquer ‘Death by PowerPoint’
, the Q-Ratio is calculated by dividing the number of questions received from the audience by the length of the presentation in minutes. According to the post, Bergman suggests striving for a 1.0 Q-Ratio – meaning that for a 15 minute presentation you would field 15 questions from the audience.

As I read about the Q-Ratio I began to wonder how striving for a particular ratio would effect our sales and marketing conversations. How would your conversations changed if you focused on answering questions? Here are a few benefits that come to mind from striving for a high Q-Ratio:

  • Conversations would be more conversational, rather than one party spending a majority of the time lecturing the other
  • Striving for a high Q-Ratio would force you to focus on the needs of the customer
  • In order to maintain a high Q-Ratio, we would have to learn to be clear and concise with our answers

As marketing and sales people, we can also benefit from turning this around – paying attention to the number of questions during our time in front of prospects and customers.

I’m sure we can argue about the practicality of achieving a particular Q-Ratio in our presentations and conversations, but I believe that striving for a high ratio can certainly improve the quality of those conversations. What do you think?

  • http://www.facebook.com/eric.bergman.984 Eric Bergman

    Bill: I like your post, especially the part about “we would have to be clear and concise with our answers.” 

    Is there any better way to demonstrate effective listening skills than to answer questions clearly and concisely?


  • http://www.rebarbusinessbuilders.com/blog Bill Brelsford

    Thanks Eric, and thanks for providing the inspiration for the post. I ordered your book after seeing the original post I referenced – can’t wait for it to arrive. I’ve been trying to do Beyond Bullet Point style presentations for years, but I’m sure I still have lots of room for improvement.