How many times have you had robust meeting with customers… filled with interaction, discussion, debate and conclusions… only to find that the next day or next week most of the key points have been forgotten, denied, or confused. It felt great at the time, but it didn’t “stick” and you lost ground, or worse, lost the deal. Well you’re in luck today, because, I’m going to tell you how to make customer discussions come alive and live forever.
Before you even think about presenting any kind of solution, whether for a sale or to address a customer issue, you need to discuss the situation. That discussion, if only verbal, has a shelf life of about half an hour. After that, the discussion, responses, even your attitude becomes a bit fuzzy. The solution for that is to make your discussions come to life with a visual display of the discussion for everyone involved. If you are in a meeting, go to the whiteboard. If there is no whiteboard, make your notebook a discussion display for the conversation. If you are on the phone, take notes while telling the customer what you are writing and follow up by sending a picture or recreation of your notes. I’ve told my staff, “If it isn’t in writing, it never happened.”
The secret sauce? If you are holding the pen, then you are in control of the discussion. Don’t just write what you hear, use your sales skills to add value to the content. It doesn’t matter if they are your words, the customer’s words or a blend of the two, you are still perceived as the discussion leader, and you will gain respect in the customer’s eyes as a person who makes things happen. When you have finished, make sure everyone has a copy. Now, the discussion has become real, the conclusions cannot be forgotten, and the result represents collective thinking, but the customer will view that thinking as their own.
Yes, I know that you know all that. That’s not the point. The point is… do you DO it? Simple Eric Economics test: Did you go to the whiteboard on the last sales call you had? Most sales people would say no, and in fact, most sales people are a bit afraid to do it. They think it takes guts. The truth is that I am personally afraid NOT to. Try it. Once you’ve done it, you will have a tremendous sense of power and buy-in. I promise you that.
Want more? For an on-line course to learn the complete skills for Questioning for Needs at your own pace, go to growthdevelopment.com/courses.