Two good things happen in a formal presentation. The salesman learns what is wanted, and the prospect learns what is available.
Especially with services, we can provide more of what the prospect wants, if only we knew what they wanted. The trick is to not get too attached to our model of what we are offering. That model is not what we offer, it is a simplified interpretation of what we have provided in the past.
If breakthroughs usually start with a customer explaining what they want, getting that information is the most important part of the meeting.
Before the meeting, you can help the prospect define what they want by publishing up-to-date information of what you are providing, and the benefits where it is working. This helps the buyers, gets you more meetings, and results in more informed discussion.
Non sellers may be worried about their intellectual property or staying ahead of the competition, but if you were leading the league, everyone would be trying to reverse engineer what you were doing. Your only safety is maintaining your pace of innovation, and the customers are a key resource for that.
Go Intensely Public – Shorten Your Sales Cycle.
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