Why the Context of Your Sales Conversation Matters

Where you start a conversation with your dream client matters a great deal. How and where you begin is going to create an impression and set the stage for who you are, the value you create, and whether or not you are relevant—and if you prove you are, lead to another meeting.

The reason you need to delete the first eight slides of your PowerPoint presentation is that opening with your company’s history, your global or national footprint, the logos of all the big, well-recognized clients you’ve won, and your service offerings, is that you establish a few things that don’t serve you or your prospective client.

First, by leaning on your company for credibility, you come across as the “Is my company the kind of company you want to do business with” kind of salesperson. What you are telegraphing is that you don’t have the credibility to belong in a conversation about value, that your credibility comes from your company. Not only do you lean too heavily on your company, by listing all the companies you are doing business with, you are providing further proof, should there be any doubt about your bona fides.

Second, and maybe worse, by talking about your products and services, you give your client the impression that your product and service is how you create value for them and their organization. You may aspire to be a trusted advisor, but your product and service is not advice, making all of these things the wrong context for a conversation.

The context in which you create value is one in which you provide ideas, insight, experience, and direction about what has changed and the implication of those changes for your prospective client. The context for your conversation now needs to be about the strategic outcomes you can help your client generate, how you help move them from their current state to a better future state—one they don’t even know is available to them.

This is the context in which you can establish yourself as someone with the ideas and experience to make you a likely candidate to be your dream client’s strategic partner and not a salesperson with too little value to be worth their time.

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