MAC Thought Refinement Spotlight

Ever start a call or drop a message saying; “…just looking to follow-up…” ?

Please, no.

Yet this is a fairly commonplace error.

A prospect asked me about this recently. Prompting me to blog accordingly.

I was in the process of crafting a quote. A mini-Proposal. And was duly seeking true collaboration with it.

With their tech-world background, I mentioned upfront that once they received the first draft, we could then look at any MACs.

Pronounced Em-Ay-Seas, this is a term I’ve used since the turn of the century. Standing for Moves-Adds-Changes.

I first came across it through great wirer, Brian Wilson. Responsible for cabling up much of corporate Britain around those heady dotcom years.

Any IT project that took into account potential for MACs and demonstrably planned for them ahead of time stealing a march. So good a tactic, eventually the entire sector caught on.

Indeed nowadays, so ingrained that it can be found as the formal audit framework of an enterprise’s complete ‘IT estate’. Some will also insert an ‘I’ at the beginning to denote Install, perhaps also bookended along with a finishing ‘D’ for Disposal.

When evoking this as part of a solution sell, it is explicit that you can expect the first outline Prop sent to be open to evolution.

Truly a thing of wonder when seen as a living, breathing document. Adjustments to which you don’t necessarily need to be precious about.

And when such alterations improve receptivity to your quote, all the better because they are now entwined within a genuinely collective endeavour.

It also removes the pressure for being dealt an immediate, outright No.

What I also grew to appreciate, was that you no longer suffer the ignominy of having initially floated figures and project in general sent on internally as a reflex. For whom this problematically becomes ‘first contact’ with you. Often to someone senior to your prospect, who thinks the art of business is one where you exhibit a state of perennial refusal.

To ‘follow up’ a quote (or any sales message sent) is to be dismissed as ‘salesy’.

Yet to seek your prospect thoughts on a matter, or assess refinements to the details of a bid, or ask what they might like to put their spotlight on, is to tacitly acknowledge the potential buyer viewpoint.

Most sectors, and indeed individual organisations you target, will have their own version of MACs.

You can even ask what the term is for them.

Then add it to your deal’s language and duly improve the chances of Proposal success.

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