Empty Calories

This is a delicious phrase I recently heard the English-born head of an Asian sales team say.

It refers to the kinds of meeting salespeople have a reputation for being all too prone to conduct with professional buyers. It’s where no value exchange goes on whatsoever.

I immediately recognised this concept. I thought straight away it was a terrific analogy.

An ’empty calorie’ meet is one where you learn nothing about why your prospect wants to do something. Whether it be the underlying motivations, or the way they’ll judge alternatives.

It precipitates the commoditisation of your wares and accelerates the fall to lowest cost becoming the over-riding decision focus.

If you’re in a meeting where you think this is going on, the answer is simple. Take a step back and ask the correct ‘value’ questions. From varying levels of formality, here’s some quick examples;

How will success be recognised?
What will change?
Why do you want this to happen?
Who else is interested in this working out?
What’s the specified ‘return’ the numbers guys are after?
What future projects could build on this one?

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