Everyone has 3 minutes to live
Decision makers are busy people — or at least they should be — and thus they’re terrified of losing an hour of their day to an irrelevant sales call. You can use this fact and cut through the noise by offering a speed demo with an explicit Go/No Go at the end of three minutes.
HERE’S WHAT TO DO
The 3 Minute Go / No Go
Instead of offering a 30 minute demo, promise to explain your value in three minutes, with an option to keep going if you’re on the right track.
The goal of this three minutes is not to zoom through your feature set. The objective is to convince them you know something valuable that they don’t know and that you’ll share what you know if they keep listening.
Essentially you’re taking your standard qualifying questions and just turning them into an explicit Go / No Go break point that also makes it easier to get the demo in the first place.
What is your secret knowledge that gets them to Go?
You should already know the secret knowledge that they don’t know. If you don’t know, ask Marketing.
If you can’t explain your secret knowledge in three minutes — including why your secret knowledge has value to your customer — then you have a problem.
One and done
For this first three minutes, work from a single slide. This will keep you focused on that one thing you know, and allow your prospect to listen rather than trying to keep up conceptually.
The slide can be an illustration that you can talk to, or it could just be your logo with a timer; you just need something on the screen so there’s no discombobulation when you move into the rest of the meeting after the Go/No Go moment of truth. Just no bullets.
Keep it real: embed a video of a timer like this one from YouTube in your slide!
How long? Not long
When you get the meeting and you’re sending the calendar invite, set it for 20 minutes. This shows you’re respecting your promise to keep it short, but it blocks out the Prospect’s calendar so realistically you’ll have 30 mins. Your first call really shouldn’t be longer than 30 mins anyway since you always want to leave them hungry for the next meeting.
Bigger organizations often plan for a really short qualifying call first, then schedule a follow up with an account rep.
This is fine when you have the luxury of walking away from “maybes”, but if you don’t have infinite leads to work through or if they don’t know your brand, every minute in front of every prospect counts, so you need to present your best game up front.
With Go/No Go, you can get more meetings, use your three minutes to qualify your prospect, then go into an extended sales discussion without feeling rushed because you’ve been explicitly invited to proceed. Or there’s no fit, and you save 27 minutes of life. Everyone wins.