Why are sellers always struggling with buyer indifference and indecision? One critical reason is a failure to sufficiently answer this pertinent question: Why change?
The typical pitch is loaded with solutions including benefits and points of differentiation. However, the prospective buyer is simply not ready to hear these aspects of your story at the outset of the decision process. Rather, the prospect is asking himself or herself what problem is being addressed? There’s no reason to consider the specialness of a particular solution – or what’s different about it – if there’s no reason to change in the first place.
So what does it take to surmount this barrier? What needs to happen to create a sense of urgency and set the stage for a solution discussion?
Consider the trajectory of something we call an Executive Briefing. It is purposeful and it is value-focused. It speaks the language of business but it’s particularly powerful because it revolves around the prospective customer’s world. You make your story memorable and shareable when you can tell it with a concise set of visuals that illustrate the case you making. You bring insights and you build credibility. The Executive Briefing has five critical elements:
- The Icebreaker. This is meant to grab the prospect’s attention. You are introducing facts, data, or trend analysis suggesting that a consequential shift is underway – one that makes the status quo unsafe and unsustainable.
- The Breakdown. Here is where you introduce problems and pain points that people that resemble your prospect – their peers – are presently experiencing. This speaks to the costs and consequences of standing still.
- The Turn. This is where you envision a new future. You focus on verbs instead of nouns. What will your prospective client be able to do differently and more effectively if it takes a different course?
- The Breakthrough. Now, you are introducing a potential solution at a high level. You’re showing a new way and the new direction that has enabled your prospect’s peers to achieve measurable success and compelling outcomes.
- The Proof Point. You conclude with evidence, demonstrating how other companies succeeded by applying the breakthrough solution. You might also introduce third-party statements or analysis that validate your claims.
By bringing forth this new point of view, you enable your prospect to envision a path to the future.
But it begins by concentrating on the unpleasant present. Unless there is a mutual agreement about the potential risks and costs of the present state, there is no psychological motive to overcome the natural forces of inertia that will kill a deal every time.
However, once you can vividly and visually convey the negative consequences of remaining in place, you create a case for change. Line up the present Breakdown with your Breakthrough future – the Core Contrast in your story – and your message will resonate and motivate,
To experience an Executive Briefing from Visible Impact, contact me at 512-415-7936 or email me at Britton(at)VisibleImpact.com.