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Rainmaking Conversations: Influence, Persuade, and Sell in any Situation by John E. Doerr, Mike Schultz

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Chapter 12

Tips for Leading Rainmaking Conversations

Whatever’s undiscussable limits what’s possible.

—Steve Williamson

Rainmaking conversations follow well-worn patterns, and satisfy the same conditions, regardless of the product or service you’re selling. Up until now, we have covered a number of concepts in depth. In this chapter, you find a menu of tips, ideas, and examples that can help you succeed in each conversation stage.

As you read the suggestions and examples, use them as inspirational guidance, not verbatim instruction. Everyone has their own style and tone. Use yours. Meanwhile, the examples will give you the direction on what to get across and how you might approach doing so.

Before we dive in, note that the eight rainmaking conversation stages are not necessarily linear. They go somewhat in order, but you will usually move back and forth between various stages throughout your conversations.

Whatever’s happening in the conversation, remember Rainmaker Principle 4—think buying first, selling second. It will help you keep everything in the proper perspective.

Your Selling Process Their Buying Process
1. Rapport Building First reaction—do I like this person?
2. Conversation kickoff
  • Conversation purpose and outcome
  • Value proposition for meeting and company
  • Introductions
  • Inquiry into meeting hopes
  • Is this person:
  • Prepared?
  • Organized?
  • Competent?
  • Looking to listen as well as talk?
3a. Needs discovery—Interest and desire
  • Company overview
  • Background on the problem
  • Typical ...

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