B2bsales's Blog
"We help people stop selling."

What’s in YOUR proposal?

I was recently training over breakfast with a group of professionals who are all very successful in their careers.  As we discussed the importance of asking good questions during your interview with the prospect, so you understand exactly what they are looking for before you present your recommendations, one of the men in the room who brings in a lot of new business shared this story. 

When asked to do a presentation to an Asian buyer looking to do business in the Southeast United States, the team of people at this company decided their strategy would be to emphasize their global presence.  They worked on a very detailed and elaborate presentation.  After presenting to a board of people who flew in from China, they later learned they were not being awarded the account.  The reason: the buyer was looking for someone with a local understanding of the Southeastern market.  

The company that lost the account has a very good understanding of this exact market.  However, they chose the wrong angle for their presentation.  Why?  They assumed they knew what the buyer was looking for, without asking first.  

The moral of the story: You need to know what questions you should be asking a prospect so you can customize your recommendations to their needs.  There are a number of types of questions you should be asking to dig deeper into the real reason someone will work with you over the competition.  Or you can spend a lot of time working on a presentation “hoping” you’ve made the correct assumptions.  Which approach do you want to take?

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