You work hard to get a slot in a prospects schedule. What you do in that initial meeting is vitally important. You must ask yourself, “what do prospects value?”
A good pitch perhaps. Prospects like to be entertained, right? And every executive wants to hear about your services, process, and case studies, don’t they?
Or maybe SPIN# questions. Prospects want to spend time educating you, right? And every executive wants to tell a stranger “what’s keeping them awake at night”, don’t they?
Both pitch and consultation have their place. It’s just not at the outset of your first meeting with a prospect.
There’s another way. Bring ideas to the table, instead of solutions. Introduce an idea, offer a point of view (PoV), and then enter into inquiry with the prospect.
Create conversational thinking sessions that add value, and deepen relationships. They’ll give prospects an opportunity to get to know, like and trust you … before you ever talk about your services and solutions.
Generating ideas for thinking sessions is easy … when you know how. Think about industry trends. Think about disruptive innovations. Think about the latent needs these trends and disruptions bring, which clients may have left unexplored. These are the things to talk to prospects about.
Give it a try. Experiment. See what happens. Let me know.
One last thing … make sure your ideas are fresh and inviting, not the tired cliches every other consultant is talking about. There’s no value in that.
# A 1980’s sales method, SPIN stands for Situation Questions, Problem Questions, Implications Questions, and Needs / Payoff Questions. SPIN was derived in a bygone age and based on observation of top-performing photocopier sales executives.