As sales continues to move into less of a quid pro quo model and more into a consultative, “I have something that could help and I don’t expect anything in return,” relationship, it’s important to remember that you, as the consultant, have a duty to make sure that what you are talking to your client about is relevant to him (or her).
Go into your meeting prepared, of course, but also be ready to give two or three topical options to the person on the other side of the table. Let him know that you are interested in telling him what he is most interested in hearing and avoid the hard “This is my product and you’ll go out of business shortly if you don’t use it,” hard sell.
Here are some topics to consider:
Okay, duh…this one seems a little obvious. But when you’re trying hard not to be a salesperson, you may skip over the fact that you are, indeed, selling something. Be prepared to discuss not just what you’re selling, but its benefits and features, as well. Know about examples of how your product has made a difference in various types of cases and how it’s helped similar clients.
This one is especially important if you are with a smaller firm. Larger distribution companies tend to have big marketing budgets that they can use to make people aware of their history, longevity, and track record. But smaller companies tend to fly under the radar despite having equally compelling stories. Give your prospects the option of hearing about how your company came to be and the success that they’ve had with their unique model and culture.
Don’t sell yourself short. Just like the company for which you work, you have a background and history that brought you to the table that day. Have your story prepared and give the client the option to hear about it. You never know what kind of personal connection may be made by sharing experiences and qualifications.
Ask the guy across the table from you if he’d like to discuss his practice and clients. Get him talking about the needs of his business and be prepared to connect your product’s features with his pain points.
When you give options for the client to direct how the meeting will go, you are automatically disarming them and putting them in the driver’s seat. This puts you into the role of a consultant who is looking for a partnership that creates winning outcomes for everyone.
What is your favorite presentation topic? Tell us in the comments below.