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Friday, January 22, 2010

The Dreaded Process Diagram

I had coffee with one of my hero consultants last week. Over a decade ago, I watched him work with a customer, and he was magic. In an hour he gently gave the customer a better understanding of how to operate his business that lasted for years.

So now he’s older. Just talking to him I can see he is wiser. I am so happy.

Sure, sales are harder (for everyone I know), he has restructured his offering, gone downmarket.

The next day he sends his brochure and I am shocked. It’s a diagram of his process!

That’s not what he does! I saw what he does! He does magic!

Since I am basically a six year old with a hammer, it got me thinking about sales.

Why do so many presentations displace a sales opportunity with a process picture?

The idea for the sale develops in the prospect’s mind.

If I provide a diagram, it probably won’t match the mind picture. I should be working on THEIR picture.

But I like my diagram. It’s how I won the last war. I am secure I can do that again. Who cares what this new guy needs!

If the diagram doesn’t sell, I’ll add more pages!

Here’s a question. If you truly wanted to help your prospect define what they want to buy, what would you do?

I think I would ask questions to make that mental image as vivid as possible.