When you present to your dream client, you have a choice as to what to present.
You can present “Your story.” “Your story” is your pitch. It’s what you sell when your presentation or proposal speaks only to what you do and how you do it. You feel a sense of ownership of the story, but your dream client doesn’t.
You can also pitch “Their story.” “Their story” is usually your response to your dream client’s request for information or request for proposal. Your client owns this story. All you are doing is saying “yes” to the story. You don’t own it.
But you could tell “our story.” And you massively increase your chances of winning your dream client’s business when you make it “Our story.” Making it your story together requires collaboration. Here’s how to invite that kind of collaboration.
As you work with your dream client on their needs, ask questions like, “How would we need to modify or change this to make it work most effectively inside your company?” Or ask, “What would you want to do differently here?” The answers to questions like these allow you to customize your proposal and solution to fit your client’s specific needs.
It’s difficult when you present something to people who had no part in the process. Because they didn’t participate, they don’t feel a sense of ownership, and they didn’t get to share what they might need you to do differently. By inviting them into the process, you increase their ownership and you allow them to collaborate on what needs to be changed.
If you want to increase your dream client’s ownership of your proposal and plan, invite them to a pre-proposal meeting to review the proposal and make final changes. Inform your contacts that you aren’t yet ready to give them a final proposal without collecting their feedback and making the modification that will make your proposal perfect.
When you present, point out all of the changes, modifications, and agreements you have made to ensure that your proposal or solution exactly matches their needs based on your prior meetings. Their contributions transform your story into “our story.”
Your dream clients have valuable experience. They know more about their own company and their needs than you do. By inviting them to collaborate with your on the right solution, you improve your solution, increase the support from the internal stakeholders, and massively improve your chances of winning their business.
Do the work necessary to convert “your story” to “our story.”
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