Do You And Your Prospect Share The Same Phases As An Ideal Relationship

Oh dear. Maybe I should not click onto any Daily Mail link during the silly season.

How can any mortal resist the listicle lure of 20 Marriage Mending Questions?

Relax. I’m not here to suggest asking your prospect such as, If you could have a superpower, what would it be? What took my eye more, were the categorised phases any lasting relationship goes through.

Attributed to an Andrew Marshall, there are apparently these six;

  1. Blending
  2. Nesting
  3. Self-affirming
  4. Collaborating
  5. Adapting
  6. Renewing

His timescale stretches from after six-months in to beyond the Silver Anniversary.

Which immediately got me wondering what the first six-months would be called – and why it wasn’t listed…

Still, I do sense that with our prospects we try to hurry along phase one, blending, and speed to level four, collaborating.

To do that we need to find a a shared endeavour. Something we can help the prospect achieve. I was partly reminded of the classic artistic code to never take advice from anyone that is not actively vested in your success.

The obvious teaching of solution sellers throughout time to rigorously identify and support prospect “self-interest” crops up. To this end maybe rewording a couple of the ‘mending’ questions might be in play.

For what recent change/innovation do you feel most grateful?
What ambitions are your department following?
What do you consider your firm’s greatest strength / your greatest vulnerability?
What is the most misfiring incident you want not to repeat?
Do you have a secret hunch about how you get on?

The web is littered with these kinds of questions aimed at truly getting inside the head of a prospect and shuffle onto their side of the table. The main point is that at some stage you are going to need to nail where their personal and professional win lays in what you could propose. They must sound natural. Not clunky. So having such questions ready is essential. Whether mending a marriage or when a deal’s in triage.

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