“Let me tell you about my product. It is fast, easy to use, large enough, while small enough, it is cheap to buy and high value to use. My product was years in development and used 3 different design process models that tested for compliance and security considerations based on cloud or LAN deployment. There is very little user training required and maintenance is available 365 days a year and 24 hours every day.”
When we tell someone what we do (we normally sound just like our competitors) or what our product does, we have to hope the suspect cares enough to listen. Since we use words that have many interpretations and are the same words used by our competitors, we have to hope the suspect understood what we meant. Then based on if they listened and if they understood, we will get to hear if the suspect cares about what we wanted to tell them.
At this point if they didn’t listen, couldn’t understand and/or don’t care, we are prepared to go into additional detail, references, examples, supporting research and the details of our manufacturing schedule – often over lunch with a couple of drinks.
The alternative is A New Concept to arrive at Commitment in 15 minutes! The “New Concept “is replace the “product pitch” with a “concept conversation,” and the commitment is really 2 commitments. One of the commitments is from the suspect to us, and the other is from us to the suspect.
Not only will we have joint commitments with next steps, but we will have clear agreement about where we want to go and the next steps to get there.
Most of the time we do our product pitch to try to find that rare person who either cares or who doesn’t care but won’t admit it, so they let you keep talking and will even encourage providing them with a proposal (at which time their phone number changes, they move jobs or are way too busy to call back).
A truth to remember is “if people don’t like your concept,” “they will never care about the detail.” When sales people lead with “detail” (product pitch), the only good suspect is one who knows much more than the sales person. This suspect understands the product pitch completely and already has a plan to deploy the exact product the sales person pitches and just needs a low price.
The way to have commitments in 15 minutes is to start at the concept. If they don’t like the concept, you save all the time of doing the product pitch (since you won’t sell anything anyway). If they do like the concept, they have to commit to the same concept you are committed to in order to get more detail to determine if and how to work together.
So if you can describe the customer's problem you solve for the customer at the concept (like: consistently growing profitable revenue regardless what is going on around you) level and that concept is compelling to the suspect to a point where they will commit resources (their time, time of their team members, presenting current state, etc.) for you to learn more, then you have a qualified lead and are now proceeding to a Joint Statement of Work (SOW) – all in 15 minutes.
You have 15 minutes to a new Concept.
Rick McPartlin founded The Revenue Game to help companies focus their organizations around the critical function of revenue generation. Rick has held senior executive positions and consulted for many Fortune 500 firms (Sun Microsystems, Siemens, McDonnell Douglas and Bell South) and small companies alike, and he's shared his passion for "revenue generation as a science" for more than 20 years.