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How to Have a Compelling Conversation with your Customer

As part of our Competitive Capture Practice, we’ve coached dozens and dozens of aerospace, defense and intelligence teams, some as large as 150 people, and individuals on how to have winning conversations with their customers. Whether for one-on-one engagements or team events, we’ve developed and refined methods on how to have compelling conversations with their customers and get the results they want.

One of our premiere practice areas is preparing teams for formal oral presentations to their customers as part of an overall proposal activity. Twenty years ago dissatisfied with the current state of the art, we engaged Tony Robbins’ Master Trainer to assist in the development of an Oral Presentation offering totally unique to the industry, one responsible for sealing many major deals.

Among the many techniques we incorporate is the overarching concept of becoming the team the customer wants to work with. I always train my clients’ teams to focus on what really matters: how to become the one the customer wants to work with. Easy to say — hard to do.

If that is the case, aren’t orals really the customer interviewing you to see if he wants to work with you? I always say, “you are the show, not the charts,” but do the team’s efforts reflect that? Not so curiously not — engineers will be engineers.

So, more hours are spent laboring to produce the perfect set of charts than perfecting the high impact conversation around them. Even when the customer is prohibited from interacting with the team as is frequently the case, isn’t that exactly what they are doing at an orals session — looks, body language, whisper campaigns all communicate something important to you.

So, how much time do the presenters spend on practicing the art of the conversation? On mastering behavior that will make them desirable? I would estimate the ratio is 10:1 or higher in search of the perfect charts.

I often ask teams to turn their hats around and ask how they would like to be “pitched?” If they want somebody to read charts to them or if they’d rather be informed, interested, charmed and even entertained. Aren’t those the occasions that we remember most a consumers? Don’t these have the greatest impact on us. The stuff our stories are based on?

Yet we spend precious little time mastering the art of the conversation. If you think of a new business contract as a marriage contract (because it is in a way, but only for the 3–5–10 years depending on the period of performance), how would you propose? Bore your partner or engage every emotion possible to knock your partner off their feet? You get to choose.

Want to raise your game and make a massive differnce on your next strategic initiative and for your company, contact me at john@goyak.com or call me at 702–283–2900 to set up a call to discuss your needs. www.goyak.com. We do what it takes to win!

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