It’s a game played every First Meeting.
What would their ideal, perfect, magical purchase entail? In long(ish) form, you hear words uttered something akin to;
“If you could have everything and anything, what would your solution look like?”
I recently learned that those fancy architects have a name for this trick.
They deliberately seek to uncover the “money-no-object” end of the spectrum. Specifically upfront, as early as possible.
Here’s how one English telly architect describes this, when renovating;
Design something beyond anything you could have possibly imagined. Something really special. But to get the very best out of an “ugly” house, means you often come up with early schemes beyond what a client can actually afford. We even call it The Dream Scheme. Compromises need to be made. Clients have to make tough decisions about whether to commit more money. But that is all part of the design and build process.
All part of the process.
And so should it be in solution selling?
As you might deduce from my pic up top, google appears unfamiliar with this technique.
Yet many a seasoned Sales pro will recognise this form of words;
“What’s on your wish-list?”
The same kind of query.
In one way, a route to classifying by the traditional “nice to have” against “must have”. A solution essential of prioritising decision criteria.
The danger perceived is that your freshly hatched prospect then rattles off all the features you lack, but which alas, your competition revel in promoting they can offer.
Put that down to qualification? Reveal such desires as not actually necessary (and as such, wasted time/money)? Better to start off with “core” requirements, then build on a secure platform (when presumably, your development team will have all those bells and whistles and more to happily add)?
I sense the approach today is more about saying that you’re not after selling to their dream scheme. Best to pinpoint precisely what is needed now, add in a sprinkle of future-proofing, and deliver exactly that which is essential to fix/improve on today’s situation.
One element of the architect-stroke-flashy-designer tactic I like is positioning. They don’t really seem to think that any dream scheme will ever get built. It seems more a tool for understanding an unreachable pinnacle, then all about finding (and managing from a position of authority) the compromises. Ones which put them as supplier in the driving seat.
In which case, evoking a ‘dream scheme’ yourself can be useful as either a negative or positive spin to further your ambitions as your position warrants.