Addressing the knowledgeable
The issue we all have in sales is that we need to address and adjust our pitches and smalltalk to the potential buyers.
If the people in the meeting are specialized, experienced and knowledgeable about the products or services you provide you don’t need to give a generic approach. You will need to go into details of the most important features, advantages or benefits. It’s like ‘Cut The Crap’ as they are probably as well informed – if not better – in the matter as you. So you need to show some respect to them by not treating them as absolute beginners.
Pitching to the Newbies
If you would take the same approach with their CEO or COO, who is not specialized in the matters and issues of the solutions and drawbacks of products or services, then the CEO or COO reaction might be that you are missing the point or you miss providing the appropriate solution. This is likely to result in a lost sales as you haven’t convinced the CEO or COO.
Testing knowledge before starting
All depends on the level of knowledge or experience of the people you are having a meeting with. Hence before you start you should inform yourself of the different people in the meeting and try to figure out what is their level about the issues and problems and the products or solutions you and your competitors are proposing.
In a meeting with a significant difference of knowledge or experience you will need to adjust to the lowest level, still addressing the important more specialized for those who are mature in the matters. This is probably the most difficult as you might go to quickly or briefly for the ‘newbies’ and being too generic or not interesting enough for the knowledgeable people.
One situation to avoid at all times is to have the less educated or less informed in the matters look stupid or make them feel as lagging behind.
Talk sense to a fool and he will call you foolish.
Meaning a pitch too complex or specialized for ‘Newbies’ will not have you score the sales as they will impose upon the knowledgeable – especially as they are in most cases from a higher hierarchy.
How do you address a mixed party ?