“But Before We Get to All of That”…………
I have done many presentations and written a great deal over the past several years (including The Power of Why – Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace) about the shift in power from the seller to the buyer. I have received feedback from hundreds of people about the sea change this understanding has brought to their marketing and sales presentations.
However at the same time many in the marketplace are still focused on a merchandiser’s approach when first beginning their sales presentations.
Specifically given the opportunity to explain what they do (“So tell me about what you do exactly.”) they deliver a litany of attributes and features about themselves, their business and their offerings. Don’t get me wrong, it is good to be proud of what you have accomplished, the firm you’re with, and the offerings you have. However, no matter how experienced and successful you are, if you tweak the opening of your presentation as I detail below you will get instep with what buyers want now. Most importantly, by using this tweak, prospects will pour forth with many of the issues they want to solve. You will have the roadmap needed to turn them from prospects to clients. Let me explain what I mean.
When you meet with a prospect to discuss their issues for the first time you have a unique opportunity to set yourself apart by not talking about you but rather shifting the conversation immediately to them. Of course many say “Oh I do shift the conversation to them right after I introduce myself and my firm.” Let me be clear here, there is no need at the outset to introduce yourself or you firm in any detail. Busy people will not meet with you unless they sense you have something to offer and are qualified to present it. You will have plenty of time to showcase yourself and your firm with your solutions. What people want to do when they first meet with you is to assess quickly:
a) Are you interested in hearing their story or telling yours?
b) Do you want to get to know them?
c) Can you potentially solve their problems or are you just selling something?
That’s it. So any opening conversation that doesn’t facilitate the answers to these 3 questions quickly will reduce buy in and limit their attention span.
Here is an approach that is right in the sweet spot of what prospects want today. It is delivered confidently and without pause or hesitation.
“I am delighted we were able to schedule a few minutes today to get to know more about each other and see if I can help you with any financial issues you are thinking about. Many people ask me what I do and what my clients say I do for them is (insert your value promise.)(Here is a generic one for illustration only) I help them organize their assets in a tax efficient way…….
BUT BEFORE WE GET TO ALL OF THAT”
Now ask the following questions, be extremely curious and let them tell their story
“Tell me a little about your family?”
“How long have you lived in the area?”
“Where did you go to school?”
“What do you see in the future for your business /practice/career?”
Then begin the discovery process you currently use to discover their issues
As fundamental as this may appear and as close as it may be to what you think your already doing if it is not exactly these words and format, you are leaving opportunity and money on the table. To say nothing of the longer time it’s taking to close business.
My challenge to you is learn it, practice it, use it and see for yourself why hundreds of others have found this approach the path to shorter sales cycles and more business. Oh & BTW if you don’t have a Unique Value Promise (not a sales proposition) read my book mentioned above. There is a reason it is a CEO reads best-seller. Click here to order The Power of Why – Breaking Out in a Competitive Marketplace
C.Richard Weylman CSP, CPAE is chairman and Managing Director of the Weylman Consulting Group which specializes in elevating business performance. He is also a member of the U.S.Luxury Board, an organization that identifies what financially successful people want from the marketplace today.
He can be reached at Richard@Richardweylman.com or by calling Teri Kotlarkski, VP of Marketing at 800.535.4332 or internationally at 941.828.3600