You have landed the opportunity to present your proposal to a prospective new client. You should always have a game-plan and the following preparatory and presentation tips should help tip the scales in your favor.
- Do the proper research.
Learn as much about the prospective client before meeting as you can. “Google is your friend.” You don’t want to go in and ask what they do – that can be the kiss of death. Instead, confirm what you learned from your research. It will impress them, show them that you did your homework and that you are able to have a meaningful discussion about their organization or business and how you can be of value. Consider pulling an industry report to learn more about the key challenges facing their industry. This exercise can also help you generate a list of target questions.
- Identify relationships and connections.
Look them up on LinkedIn prior to your meeting/presentation. Find potential connections between your organization’s members or other relationships you have cultivated, to decision makers in theirs. A common connection can be worth its weight in gold.
- Practice patience.
Sure, you are there to convince them that you have the right solution for their needs but be a patient listener first and foremost. Start a dialogue about what is meaningful to them. Listen carefully and learn as much as you can about their situation. Don’t start by telling them who you are and why you’re so great. Instead, take the time to understand them and learn why they are looking for a new “solution provider”. This may also provide you with the “golden phrasing” for how to couch your proposition.
- Always customize your proposal.
If you asked insightful, probing, open-ended questions and listened well, you will have a great foundation for a customized proposal. Include the information you captured in your meeting, specifically identifying both what they need and want out of your new product or service.
- Follow up.
Prompt follow-up is critical. It demonstrates that you are attentive, care about and want their business. Go the extra mile and send thank-you communications to the people involved, letting them know you value and appreciate the opportunity to present your proposal.
These few tips should help you tilt the scales in your favor a little. Just remember, you are not there to close a deal by “selling what you have”, but by best presenting what you have as the ‘right solution to their needs, offered by someone they are comfortable with and feel a sense of trust with”.
Eric S. Degen, CPA Titan Accountancy, LLC
Accounting and Advisory Services