At least once a week, I encourage the sales team at Mechdyne to bring prospective clients to our Technical Center in Marshalltown. Whenever a client visits, we plan their experience based on their specific project goals so they know what to expect in their own projects, including:
- A tour of our Technical Center to demonstrate our STRIVE process
- Customized software demonstrations to show how their solution may function
- Additional visits to nearby clients to showcase other solutions, such as Iowa State University or Genesis Systems Group
This only begins to scratch the surface of what we do in a client visit. The real magic happens when we enable our clients to share their business goals and challenges, collaborate with our expert teammates, and discuss ideas. I can’t emphasize to my team enough how important it is to bring clients here – it’s no surprise that our chances of winning the business increase significantly when we do.
That’s why it always surprises me when I hear organizations express caution and hesitation when we talk to them about Executive Briefing Centers (EBCs). Sales managers and consultants may appreciate how impressive an EBC looks to a potential customer, but they don’t always see the true benefits to the sales process. In my experience, creating customized, personalized experiences for your customers truly does impact your sales cycle. I’ve broken it down into three reasons why it’s important to make your customers feel special during an executive briefing.
1) Customers Test the Business Relationship
If your company sells products or services that are worth big dollars, you have to sell your customers on your organization just as much as your product or service. The larger the sales contract is, the more important trust becomes. Without it, the hundreds of thousands—or even millions—of dollars’ worth of investment has too much risk. A custom, tailored experience hosted at your organization is the perfect way to preview what your collaborative relationship will look like. Not only that, but you can showcase your products or services to the customer, allowing them to interact with it in their own customized demo.
In an executive briefing, your relationship grows stronger; 88 percent of key decision-makers who attend an executive briefing agree with me*. When you prove that you know your customer, their industry, and their specific business challenges, you demonstrate a high level of business prowess. Combined with a tailored demo that matches their challenges specifically, your customer truly experiences what it is like to work with you and the results they can expect.
2) Arm Yourself with Customer Insights
What’s the best way to lose your customer’s interest? By showing a cut-and-paste presentation of your company history and standard products without demonstrating that you understand your customer’s needs and business problems. On the other hand, an executive briefing is the perfect way to show that you listen to your customers and understand ways to help them resolve their specific problems. An EBC allows you to have an open, well-balanced dialogue to gather insights to help your customers succeed. Our experience tells us that our clients are more willing to give us those insights because we are in a trusting, collaborative partnership. The collaboration you experience when you stop thinking about selling and instead are focusing on sharing information paves the way for your success.
3) Closer Bigger Deals Faster
Studies prove that customers who participate in an executive briefing are more likely to buy from you. Not only that, but they buy sooner and they buy more:
- Two-thirds of people in briefings say that the briefing influenced their buying decision
- Three-fourths of people say they made a decision to purchase something discussed in the briefing
- One-third of people say the briefing shortened their purchase cycle by 26 percent*
Why is this the case? Because the intimacy of an executive briefing allows you to have meaningful conversations about how to truly address the customer’s problem. It’s not just about wow-ing your customers into wanting to work with you. An EBC creates an environment that gives you the chance to have robust discussions about how your company can provide a precise solution to their problem. Your customers truly feel comfortable and confident that you are the ideal partner for them.