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The information that a prospect wants to hear is not necessarily dependant upon the questions they ask, but more so on the questions that you ask. The only questions that you can control and ensure get addressed are the ones you ask.


We’ve all been there. Whether it’s over the phone, online or face to face; in a business setting or on the golf course, the time comes to deliver your value proposition to the client.  Here comes the pitch.

Take a moment and think about how the typical conversation or meeting flows with a prospect? What does your presentation consist of? What do you talk about?

The basics – you may begin by giving some background on your company and who you are. You would probably talk about what it is you sell. You may even discuss what your product or services is or what it does and how it could benefit them. And if you have some time, you might share some technical data, a PowerPoint or some marketing materials with them.

With all of these various topics to address, only one stands out as your core objective and the primary goal of delivering a presentation. Here are the most common responses I hear.

• To educate your prospect on who we are, the industry and the product I sell.
• To get the sale.
• To create a rapport and build trust.
• To develop your competitive edge and a reason for becoming your prospects’ vender of choice.
• To give each prospect a good reason for buying from me.

While these objectives that I just listed are critical to achieve during a well organized sales effort, none of these resemble the primary objective.

To illustrate this point, let me ask you a few questions. Based on these five objectives I just listed and your approach when presenting during a meeting or conversation with a prospect, are you able to answer these nine questions after you present?

1. What are their core objectives?
2. What are their immediate needs?
3. Who is responsible for making this purchasing decision?
4. What information do they want to hear from you?
5. What are their expectations of the meeting/conversation with you?
6.  What is their biggest concern that would prevent them from buying from you?
7.  How do they make a purchasing decision? What’s their process?
8.  What criteria do they need to evaluate in order to make a decision?
9.  Are they “sold” on using you, your company and your product?

Unless you did a stellar job pre-qualifying them during your initial contact (use my permission based prospecting system I discuss in my other book on cold calling) and this meeting or conversation is actually your second contact with the prospect, then the chance of you being able to accurately answer these questions simply by delivering your content rich presentation is pretty slim.

That’s why the primary goal when delivering a presentation is different from what you might have imagined. The core objective of a presentation is to uncover the information you need (through  questions) to determine if there’s a fit and then refine your approach so that the solution you present is now customized to reflect the unique and specific needs of each prospect; lasering in on what is most important to them and what they want to hear. As a result, the prospect is now in the best position to make an educated (or impulsive) buying decision based on the selling atmosphere that you created or take action regarding the next step in your selling cycle (proposal, demo, vender review, and so on.)

The information that a prospect wants to hear is not necessarily dependant upon the questions they ask, but more so on the questions that you ask. The only questions that you can control and ensure get addressed are the ones you ask.

If you’re asking better questions up front, you may have noticed a change in the flow and direction of your meetings and more specifically, in the information you are hearing as well as presenting. You may have also noticed that many of the prospects you met with in the past were the same prospects that you now realize were not a fit, would never be a fit and you had no business ever meeting with or spending the time following up on them in the first place.

About the author

Keith Rosen

Keith Rosen

Keith Rosen is fanatical about your success. He is a globally recognized authority on…

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