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Tip 1: Make a Conscious Decision About Whether to Present All Options or Only One

When you’re courting several buyers with differing viewpoints, it’s natural to think that the more general you can make your presentation and recommendations, the more “hooks” you can create for the bickering buyers to latch on to. In that effort, you tend to explain your recommendations first one way and then another. You use this analogy and that. You think maybe this and maybe that would be part of the final offering. Often, the intention with the elaboration is mentioning something that will appeal to everybody.

A broad recommendation, however, usually has the opposite effect.

Everybody hears something that they disagree with. As a result, you wind up spending more time dealing with the minor details and “what you didn’t mean to imply” than you do with the general thrust of the proposed offering.

The group has the sense that your proposal has been thrashed to death, when in reality only the chaff around it has been discarded. Instead, make your proposal succinct, offering only one, specific way. Let it stand there in all its glory until your buyer’s questions force you to add details.

Tip 2: Analyze the Various Stages of the Customer’s Mind-set to Determine at What Point to Start Your Presentation

When presenting to a single buyer, address the buyer’s biggest needs first, as your highest priority. Next sort through the plethora of information to select what details to focus on in your discussion, based on your analysis and answers to these key questions: What does your buyer absolutely HAVE to know to decide? What do they already know about the product, service, and solution? What outcome do you want? What other bids have been considered and rejected?

When presenting to a committee or a group of buyers, let your client contact or sponsor summarize the problem and the cost of the problem before you present your solution. This will set the mood for accepting your solution and positioning its value. Watch the audience to determine your contact’s credibility with the audience. Focusing on the consequence of the problem is almost always more important than focusing on value as a motivator for the group’s decision.

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