A sales person recently had a meeting with a senior executive from a large company. The goal was to solidify a deal and gain agreement to move ahead with the buying decision.
Several previous sales conversations had been conducted prior to this meeting. The prospect knew about the sales person’s company. He knew about their solution and the value of it. He was aware that the sales person’s company had achieved success with other large organizations.
In fact, during a pre-meeting conference call, he stated that his primary goal of the meeting was to learn how the sales person’s company would help him implement the solution with minimal disruption, how to achieve the best possible results and case studies that would support the seller’s claims.
However, here is the agenda the sales person planned for that meeting.
1. Who is XYZ (the sales person’s company)
2. Overview of our product
3. How XYZ can help ABC (the prospect’s company)
4. Our solution
5. Product demonstration
6. How we deliver results
7. The support ABC will receive
8. How we will manage your account
9. Innovation – Future of XYZ Company
10. Benefits of working with XYZ Company
11. How we will launch:
- Program and Launch Planning
- Account Initialization and Configuration
- User Acceptance Testing
- Program Deployment
- Monitoring and Review
12. Client Feedback and Results
I groaned when I reviewed this agenda. Here’s why…
Only five points of this 19 point agenda were focused on the prospect’s issues and concerns.
I suggested to the sales person that he eliminate the first eight topics and speak directly to the prospect’s concerns. However, he and his manager were reluctant to do this because;
> They had a full-day scheduled and wanted to make sure they filled every minute of that day
> They felt they still had to sell the prospect on their company and their solution
> They thought that talking about their company would alleviate any concerns the prospect might have
I have yet to encounter an executive who is interested in the seller’s company. Executive decision makers don’t care about this. All they want to know is how you can help them solve a problem. In this case, it was “How will you execute?”
It would have been much more effective for the selling company to focus strictly on the prospect’s issues and concerns instead of spending valuable time talking about themselves.
The next time you have an important sales call or meeting with an executive, invest the time to find out what your prospect wants to learn and focus your efforts on that. Skip the blah, blah, blah about your company and cut to the chase by showing them exactly how you will help achieve their objectives.
Not only will you save time, you will position yourself as a leader and differentiate yourself from your competition. No executive will ever complain that a four hour meeting only took two hours IF their primary concerns are addressed.
I guarantee it.