The Peace & Power of a Positive Perspective


Selling in reverse…

Have you ever thought about structuring your sales presentation backwards?  I mean literally taking the topics we do at the end and putting them at the beginning?

What about our sales cycles?  In reverse?  What if we offered pricing early?  Very first meeting early?  Or a “demo”?   Or references?  How do you suppose our prospects would respond?

If you think about it our sales process is like a novel.  A novel was defined to me once as a written piece that has a beginning; a middle; and an end.  Are our sales cycles (and presentations)?  Or not?

Novels are also defined by their length.  I’m told a novel has 50,000 words or more.  Writing coaches suggest that the writer must “capture” their reader’s interest early – very early – first few pages – or better – first few paragraphs early.  And if the writer doesn’t, it’s likely the reader will put the book down, never to return.  It is critical to start entertaining the reader early knowing they have to wait until the end where the “essence” is typically revealed by the author.

Think what it would mean to writers if their readers could read the end of their novel first; get to the “essence” up front.  Would writers continue to write 50,000 words or more?  Would their readers read them?

Thankfully for writers, readers today are entertained by a good story.  It’s OK if the book is long when the “middle” is entertaining.  Sometimes people read a novel to escape from reality; sooth a headache.  Are our sales presentations and sales cycles soothing?

For your consideration… in 2015 prospects expect our end at the beginning; they cover the beginning before we arrive; and prefer to minimize or totally skip our usual “middle” all together.  To them, our middles are neither entertaining; nor soothing.

Many of us still include a company image pitch in our presentations.  In 2015, how entertaining is that?  If our prospect is interested in the idea of doing business with us, won’t they do what we do – check us out online first?

In 2015, the “beginning” is no longer our first meeting with a prospect – it’s the preparation for that first meeting.  They’ve prepared to meet with us with their online research.  We should prepare too, true?  If they could simply buy online and by-pass us altogether, wouldn’t they?  Wouldn’t we if we were them?

In 2015, when we find ourselves in a sales meeting with a prospect shouldn’t we ask – why on earth are we there?

In 2015, the “end” of our sales cycle isn’t the transaction (aka the opportunity; the deal) we “close”.  It’s what we do after the deal is done that counts.  Add-on’s; Phase 2; referrals from our clients to their clients.  Yes, we have many, many more opportunities to maximize “lifetime client value” than merely the dollars from that first transaction.

OK, we’ve covered the “beginning” of our selling activities which I’ve suggested actually takes place before we arrive.  And we’ve addressed the “end” of our selling activities and I’ve suggested there is no “end” – just follow on transactions from satisfied clients (and their clients).  So what about the “middle”?

Well, maybe there is no “middle” anymore.  Maybe our prospects don’t enjoy the “entertainment” of our “middles” anymore.  What if we realized the “end” comes at the “beginning”; and we eliminated the “middle” all together?  What if we sold in reverse?

Now I’m getting a headache; need some soothing.  Anyone have a good novel you’d recommend?


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  1. Nathan Sumner
    Sep 08, 2015

    You’ve mentioned this before. How do you deal with the issue of leading with “end” and a potential client walking out because they don’t see the value because we didn’t get to discuss that?

    I understand that they may never have become a client in the first place, but it’s hard enough getting them in the seat and I’d expect a more negative response if they decided to leave almost immediately after arrival.

    • Gary
      Sep 08, 2015

      Agreed Nate – and that’s the challenge. As it has been said, “Bad news doesn’t improve over time.” Or my sales slang, “I’m in to win business, or lose it quickly.” Easy to write in a blog – hard to deal with in the real world 🙂 Thx, GAP

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