During any presentation or project planning session, if you're not being advocated by someone in the room, time to get out! You're done! I don't care how well you speak to the solution or the vision you have to improve the operation, if no one cares then no one cares. Building an advocate is critical to the Enterprise or Project sales process. But more importantly, they need to love it. Yes, I'm advocating an emotion greater than just liking or agreeing with something or a plan, I'm talking passion! And why is passion important?
- The passionate person can turn/lead an entire group to a decision
- The passionate person doesn't give up easily
- The passionate person CARES
- The passionate person owns his/her mistakes or wins
- The passionate person fights!
The First Call
When doing presentations, I try to NEVER showcase the product at first. Who are you and why should I CARE about your business is the first thing I try to understand. I'm not trying to be arrogant here, but if what you are trying to accomplish doesn't even come close to what we provide, I'm not going to waste your time, or mine. To me, the attitude I bring across is: tell me about you, and your kick ass business! I really, truly want to know. In the first call, the focus should be on learning and listening. Who doesn't know to do this? A lot of Enterprise and Project sales executives! I've seen so many people jump right into a presentation without knowing a thing about the people, the place or the business proposition. Ask questions, deep dive and LISTEN!
Create A Sense Of Ownership Through Education
If your product has the ability to share a demo account then DO IT! One key demo activity is to showcase the product offering and speak to how they will use it when they get a demo license. In other words, you are pre-teaching them on using the product to fit their needs. During any presentation, I try to paint a scenario that one of their core users would go through. I walk the prospect through the features and technical capabilities. If they see it and "get it", I ask them if they could replicate it. Now they own it... Now they are closer to loving it.
Showcase Your Users
If others love it, then chances are your new prospect will as well. Related to The First Call, I try to understand what the prospect is after and then showcase some other customers and how they drove success with our solutions. This creates a connection to a peer - super important! In the book Question-Based Selling by Thomas Freese, there is a strategy called the Herd Theory. Freese argues that you can create momentum with your sales if others are using it, and you can speak to this!