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To Discuss the Real Issues, Give Them Some Homework


To Discuss the Real Issues, Give Them Some Homework

Chris had just completed an Investigation meeting with a top prospect but had a nagging feeling that there was a lot of information left uncovered and it didn’t feel good. Of course, Buyer’s School never does. Debriefing with his Sales Evolution coach he explained that he had experienced difficulty getting the prospect into a discussion of the buyer’s problems and priorities, and when he finally did the conversation quickly turned to product and price.

Thinking back on his training and remembering that buyers frequently leave out vital information, especially on the first call, he knew he’d been had. And, what got left out was the information that Chris needed to get some traction with this buyer. Without an effective approach to transition from chit chat to a meaningful conversation on business issues, he got trapped discussing facts and figures as opposed to issues and the real reason he was invited in to meet.

To better manage expectations with the buyer, Chris needs to have a better Investigation meeting and to learn more about the buyer’s process (Authority).

Perhaps starting early and giving them some homework before the appointment is a better approach to keep from getting trapped in Buyer’s School. Before his next appointment he asked his buyer the following, “Mr. Buyer, in order to make our meeting as productive as possible, would you make a list of the two or three most challenging issues you are having with respect to your business and this product? Then we can really focus our discussion on your issues and try to develop a solution. Does that make sense?” Interestingly enough, he found that buyer and the next few he asked were all more comfortable talking about the real issues because that was really on their minds and all they had to do was refer to their own list.

When he arrived at the appointment, he simply reminded the buyer about the list and asked what the issues were. From that beginning the problems and priorities conversation was easy enough to conduct. His Investigation sessions were more effective and he was able to qualify his prospects in greater depth and detail. Chris started winning more business because he understood the issues, was able to recommend better solutions, and had his buyer’s trust.

Assign some homework before your next call and see what happens. You just might be surprised.

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