Often, others ask me to help them pre-brief before a sales call, and debrief after a sales call. When I was recently asked to do so, I discovered a huge waste of time, energy, money, and resources. Fortunately, I also knew how to avoid that waste.
I was on the phone with a consultant, who we'll call Bill (not his real name). Bill said, "Hey, I've got a big meeting with a CEO on Friday. Could we spend some time pre-briefing for it?"
I agreed. Bill shared that he was going into his second meeting. Prior to this meeting, he and his prospect had an initial meeting that was very superficial.
He had uncovered a little detail. The company he was meeting with did about 20 million dollars a year, with an average transaction price of about $14,000. So what they sell is not super-cheap.
When Bill finished sharing with me, I challenged him. " You don't have enough information about their pain or their budget," I shared with him. "There's a high probability you guys are not on the same page as far as what they're willing and able to invest in your services."
Well, Bill went on the sales call and met with the CEO. Afterward, he gave me a call again.
"The first eighty minutes of the meeting went great," he shared. "We had great dialogue, great conversation."
Bill sighed. "At about minute 81, we started talking about investment. He thought his people could come to my workshops for about $49 a day."
Bill's workshops were nowhere near that price. And even though what the CEO's company sold was expensive, and he drove a $200,000 car and lived in a multi-million dollar house, they had a disconnect.
The CEO and Bill had not gotten the budget out of the way quickly and early. They'd completely wasted time, energy, money, and resources on both sides.
If, on the other hand, they'd made sure they were in the same ballpark in their first phone call, they could have avoided all that waste.