Thursday, July 14, 2011

Meet Their Needs or Shock and Awe?

During your needs analysis with the client, you will, or should, discover what features in your solution will meet their needs, and which can blow them out of the water. So do you build your demo, to meet their needs or shock and awe?

This is a tricky point. If you overly shock the prospect they may shut down, too afraid to move. If you shoot too low, another vendor may sweep them away with an amazing presentation. What to do…what to do…

 My philosophy is to win the business then show them the promise land. So meet their needs, get acknowledgement that you have done this, and then discuss phase two. Phase two should start by setting the stage. Show the customer where they are, and where you can take them. Also explain how this is not an all or nothing choice (if it isn’t). The reason for this is change management.

Change Management, in this context, is you managing your customer’s anxiety. I have lost deals I thought were a slam dunk, because it was too much too quick, the owner wasn’t sure his staff could adapt. Managing this type of reaction is change management. Incremental changes, phases, levels, all of these words can help the prospect understand that this “shock and awe” solution can be slowly migrated to, if they wish.

Resist the urge to “blow away” your prospects, or you may “blow up” your deal.