Categories In english

How to sell innovation consulting? (9/10)

So far, I’ve explained what to listen to and how people think. Now I want to combine both of these elements to show that this combination can help anticipate and understand how people get to decisions.


Understanding how the client thinks
Understanding how the client thinks
Courtesy of WetFeet

I/ My basic point is simply that you should present things in the way your client thinks.

  • If you’re talking to an intuitive thinker, the presentation should respect some kind of chronological order: you should talk about the past, identify trends and try to formulate some kind of vision for the future.
  • If you’re talking to a deductive thinker, then you need to get all the objectives and business related facts right, and present an overarching theory that can be applied to a specific situation to get to a logical conclusion.

II/ Sales presentations must elicit two different feelings

Fear and Desire
Fear and Desire
Courtesy of Stanley Kubrick

And again, when doing this, make sure that you start out by presenting information that will elicit fear and then present things that will elicit a sense of desire and opportunity. Any sales presentation should basically have two distinct moments:

  • the fear moment
  • the opportunity moment

Now based on your understanding of how the client makes decisions, and how he thinks, you’ll present the fear moment differently. For example:

  • When talking to an intuitive thinker, talk about time-related elements and show how things were in the past and how they may play out in the future. Show that given a number of changes, the future is heavy with foreboding.
  • When talking to a deductive thinker, describe all the facts, all the concepts, and all the logical arguments and show how they lead to some kind of terrifying conclusion.

Once this is done, start a second part of the sales presentation which has more to do with desire and opportunity. In this case, if you’re trying to convince the intuitive thinker, show that if XYZ are done, then, the future can be rich with opportunity. The key is to build the presentation according to how your client thinks and how he makes decisions.

III/ Be a booster to your client’s career

Career Booster
Career Booster
Courtesy of University of Maryland

Doing this, please keep in mind that the real subject of any sales discussions, is not trying to achieve some kind of objective corporate good but helping your client with his career in the company.

  • So, while you should never mention this in writing nor in speaking to your client, this needs to be the most potent implicit message that you want to convey.
  • And as you build your presentation up, you should start by writing down career risks and opportunities and then create your presentation accordingly.

Your understanding of your client’s career situation is the most important component of any sales presentation even if it isn’t explicitly mentioned. It’s as if in every sales presentation there is some kind of implicit and unconscious force which, although invisible, is nevertheless there.

In my next post, I’ll summarize my understanding on how to sell innovation consulting.

No comment

Leave a Reply