Many of our followers’ salespeople promote an eight-minute briefing when they first engage with prospective customers.
Well, I’ve created a video demonstration of an eight-minute briefing—and you can watch it below.
Why an Eight-Minute Briefing?
First, I should stress that there’s nothing special about eight minutes. It could just as easily be six, or twelve.
The significance of the small number is that we want to highlight that this briefing has been deliberately constructed to be economical with the prospect’s time.
This makes it easy to sell and, more importantly, easy for a prospect to say “yes”.
An eight-minute briefing is not appropriate if you’re selling a commodity product (nuts and bolts) but it is appropriate if you’re selling new technology or a program of some kind (e.g. vendor-managed inventory of nuts and bolts.)
The briefing should be pitched as a mini-event with stand-alone value.
For example, a salesperson might say:
Look, I don’t know if our Integrated Supply program will make economic sense in your environment. But our briefing will enable you to make a determination in just eight minutes. Best case, you save tens of thousands of dollars a month. Worst case, you squander eight minutes! Would early or later in the week suit you better?
The briefing is a video conference, conducted in Zoom (or similar). The salesperson will typically present the briefing along with a 3-slide presentation (so named because it contains no more than three slides—or 4 if you’re a risk taker).
They will deliver a concise, canned eight-minute presentation and then segue into a standard sales conversation (assuming that the prospect’s interest has been piqued by the presentation).
Don’t you sell by asking questions?
Salespeople are often uncomfortable commencing a conversation with a canned presentation. After all, most have been taught to sell by asking questions.
It’s important to remind salespeople that you can only ask questions once your prospect has granted you a mandate to do so. If you’re responding to an inbound inquiry, this mandate is implicit. However, if you’ve initiated a conversation with a stranger, you can’t lead with questions (unless you want to be shut down quickly); you need to stimulate interest.
The eight-minute briefing is a great way to do this. It’s a small ask that results in one of two things. Either the mandate that the salesperson is looking for, or an informed decision not to proceed. The salesperson benefits either way.
The attached video is a dramatization of an eight-minute briefing, prepared for your benefit. We would never send the video to a prospective customer. The briefing will always be presented live.