But then I asked him, "What did your prospect say next?"
We talked more about the stories he used and agreed that they clearly demonstrated the value of his organization. They were inspirational stories. They engaged the prospect. But value is somewhat intangible, no matter how realistic his stories about wonderful outcomes.
Now it was time to give the prospect a concise description of how they would accomplish the work that puts life into his promise of value. And since my client hadn't come prepared with a detailed work plan, what he offered was a clear picture of some activities and people who would be involved in the project. He gave an example of one method they might use. And he made the connection between the prospect's gift and the actual work to be done in broad categories.
I congratulated him on a great presentation. He remarked that had he known the prospect wanted a work plan he would have written up a much more detailed proposal.
"To the contrary, what you did was the best possible response. Your prospect didn't want to know everything that's in your toolbox or every step of the process. He wanted to see if you understood how the goals could be accomplished. If you had some sense how it all works."
Remember to balance the value of the work you do with a few specifics of how you will accomplish it. If you do that, you engage your prospects with the success of your projects and instill confidence that you can deliver the anticipated value.
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