Three Reasons to Show Your Downside
You delivered one of your best presentations ever. Lots of nods and smiles. But as you leave the room, your internal champion whispers, “Someone on my team didn’t like the proposal. Too much risk.”
Solutions to complex sales are chock full of risk tucked under the rewards. Why then do so few salespeople do the proper risk-reward analysis before attempting the sale? Experience proves one or more risk-averse individuals, who are afraid to make the wrong decision, populate most buying teams.
Too many salespeople put all their energy into showcasing their proposal as the best alternative without evaluating the ups and downs of alternatives. In a complex sale, you often deal with opposing forces. If you don’t discuss the pros and cons of each alternative, you could lose the sale to a single hold out.
By working closely with your prospect team, you can access their tolerance for risk, which leads naturally to a more realistic evaluation with the feedback so important to your final recommendation. At the same time, your prospect self-discovers the right solution.
Far too many sales proposals focus on upside without honest discussion on downside risk. Write your proposal with a candid discussion of the risks and rewards of each alternative. Translate needs into a workable solution from your buyer’s perspective. Only then can a prospect know you listened, your proposal is objective, and your recommendation is the right solution.
Feel the Magic
Next time you present an idea, offer or recommendation, discuss the benefits of alternative solutions, then say, “Now, let’s look at the downside.” Magic will happen. Your prospect audience will sit up, open up, and even share reasons why they can tolerate the risks in your recommendation.
From now on collaborate on 1) the balance between risk and reward your solution, so your prospects can 2) self–discover the right alternative solution, and 3) you will both win.
After all, buyers learn what they need to know sooner or later. Why not from you?