What do you do when a prospect says, “I’d like you to present your solution and you have 30 minutes”?  Do you immediately jump in, create a 50 slide PowerPoint presentation and comply?

It’s a scenario recently faced by a client of ours.

They’d had a couple of email exchanges with the prospect who’d admitted they were in the beginning stages of an evaluation.

Given the questions being asked, the prospect really didn’t know what they didn’t know.  They knew what the outcome was, but really had no idea what was going to be involved.

Here’s what I recommended our client do.

First of all, ditch the PowerPoint.  This was not about drowning the prospect with details.

Far more important to help them realise the real issues and the questions they should be asking to ensure the solution would fit.  Put another way, give them insights into the problem they’re facing and why certain things would need to be in place for any solution to actually work.

There’s another benefit to this.

It was obvious our client wasn’t the only vendor they were speaking with.

So we prepared a framework for the meeting.  How to elicit the 2 to 3 critical issues to be solved and why.  Sketch out a value model which showed them a journey from where they were to where they could be and finally, how the prospect could work best with our client to get the best ROI and outcome.

Got a call from our client an hour after the meeting saying the prospect reported, “This was a fantastic meeting – It clarified a number of issues and really helped us define what we need to do to be successful”.

So who do you think the front runner will be now?

In any sales situation you need to lead and set the frame and agenda.  The prospect provides the content.

I can’t stress this highly enough.

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