LACMAC Mutual Way Forward Discovery

I’m indebted to an English recruiter of HR pros who kindly commented on my 2015 LACMAC post.

They felt the emphasis demonstrated to me misrepresentative of how they themselves view the mnemonic.

Their slant preference rather being;

The most important part of the LACMAC process, and the bit that takes the longest on a given call or meeting, is the ASK, or discovery, phase.

The “close” here doesn’t refer to making a quick sale or tying a prospect down. It’s about agreeing a way forward mutually. The “close” might just be to keep in touch if anything changes, and to agree to speak again in x number of weeks.

There’s actually quite a bit to unpack here, for which brief submitted comments ought not be relied upon to reveal true depth or meaning.

One reason why this technique can suffer a bad rep – particularly in its recruitment heartland – is precisely because too many a seller does focus overwhelmingly on the ‘close’. With sadly little concern for any realistic ‘mutual benefit’.

Maybe it is the ability to switch around this stance that separates the serial quota-busters (with sustainable, repeatable business) from the perennial scramblers?

I remain steadfast in my view that such ‘system’ acronyms are flawed when they are either all about or become seen to be about what you as the seller does, and pays little heed to prospect outlook, motivation or behaviour.

As I said six years back, ‘output never trumps process’. Where process is less the steps you may take, but the known pattern of events that lead to your consistent earning of a new client.

I warmly applaud the highlight of this discovery phase.

I can also hear people around in the 90s arguing that perhaps the most well-known system of call procedure (SPIN) is an option in how to conduct the initial ASK stage. But that is a whole different debate.

I would also gently posit that if you go to your sales manager and say you’ve had a ton of successful ‘closes’ that week, and you describe them all as agreeing to ‘keep in touch if anything changes’, you may well be seeking your own job change fairly soon.

I’m minded to recall that whilst the best aim should be to have a genuine conversation with a suspect, what they reveal needs proper definition. And to re-state, the best sales managers are the ones whose questions to their charges include, ‘how many conversations you had today?’

The above commentor is right, though. The discovery phase is ‘the most important’. It feels under appreciated. How often do you hear it given the true weighting it deserves? Let alone be trained-in.

How do you approach it?

And the funny thing is, when you do a proper first “A” – whatever the structure you use – the second “C” kinda looks after itself.

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