Okay, so you have done your homework with research and visiting with different people within a major account opportunity. Now you have the first opportunity to visit with The Decision Maker about what you have found.
One thing I have to make clear at this point, I’m talking from the framework of a Consultative B2B Sales Person rather than a commodity positioned b2b sales person. Since the latter is only talking about their product or service along with features and benefits, they usually is no discussions with higher level decision makers.
Now is the time you have been waiting for, the opportunity to prove you are the right person to be involved with this company. So, how do share your knowledge with the high level decision maker?
You follow these four guidelines…
- Confirm versus Inform
Being a know-it-all is a poor way to be seen by the decision maker, therefore informing or telling everything will create more issues than solutions for you. Continue to follow the questioning model of b2b selling by using questions to confirm what you found. This leads to improved relationships with the person or persons responsible for making a decision about both your and their futures.
- Show you want to confirm your Perceptions
You want to state up front you are looking to confirm your understanding of their business based upon what you have learned during your visits and research about their company. Use an indirect style to show sincerity of thought and show them you care about their position. However, always show the logic behind your perceptions and conclusions to assist in their understanding of your position.
- Be Crisp and Concise with your dialogue
There is a time and place for finite detail and that is for another time. You want to show a general understanding of their operations, possible issues and future opportunities. Show you understand the big picture with crisp and concise descriptions while being very careful about avoiding a rambling domination of their time. Show your professionalism with confidence and clarity.
- Maintain a sense of humility
No one wants to deal with an enlarged ego! So slow down and deliver this information – again crisply and concisely – yet without forceful attitudes. Here your goal is to be humble with showing respect and being non-judgmental in your statements. Like Joe Friday, just the facts! – with a bedside manner. Always defer to the customer and never become overbearing during this part of the presentation.
Follow these guidelines and you will build rapport and credibility to advance to the next stage of the sales process.