Hoo boy. We made it! The nerdy part of your brain finally gets to geek out over features. But–and I know the urge to “show up and throw up,” which we have ALL DONE in the past, that urge is strong right now, … and you SHOULD throw up at this point–let’s understand why you’re throwing up. Okay? The tendency, especially with complex B2B sales presentations and with sales engineers everywhere, is to throw up early in the presentation. They think that that’s how you answer “How do I know I can trust you?” or “How do I know this is real?” Because by showing off the features, you’re showing that you’re a serious company. Right? The problem with throwing up early – well, there are two problems. It doesn’t build trust. And it’s boring to an early audience. It doesn’t build trust for a few reasons. Either because other vendors in other meetings have claimed features, and those features didn’t exist. OR it doesn’t build trust because showing features is a way of not answering the early trust questions. It’s like if you ask a banker if this loan is a good deal, and instead of saying Yes, this is a good deal, he skips that and starts listing details about the loan. So you ask, Is this Loan A Good Deal? And he says, “the APR is 3.125%, and there’s no penalty for an early payoff.” See what I mean? He didn’t answer your question. And that makes you trust him less. You can’t skip the steps, or the order of the steps, for establishing trust with an audience. The order they need is — trust in you, then trust in the company, and then finally trust in the product. If you show up and throw up early, with the features, you try to skip the trust in you and in the company and go straight to trust in the product. Stop doing that. When they’re asking, in the beginning, “How do I know I can trust you?” or “How do I know this is real?”… they’re not talking about features. Anyway, back to this question, number 8. Now that we’re at number 8, it’s time to throw up. This is the third step in the trust process. This is where your most complicated diagrams can go. This is where you show the slides with 400 words. The slides with dozens of bullets listing dozens of features; this is where those slides can go. You were worried I wasn’t going to let you use those. It’s okay; you can admit it. You’ve been making those types of slides for as long as you’ve been making slides, period. The reason you can use your densest slides is that you’re trying to overwhelm the audience a little bit with details. The unspoken message here is, “we’ve done all the thinking. We’ve done all the work. We’re so confident in what we’ve built that we’re showing you everything.” They’re not interested in going through all this detail during the presentation. They just want to know that it exists. Actually, so I just said that, but we’ve all been in a meeting where you end up with someone who DOES want to go into excruciating detail during the presentation, even though the rest of the audience, especially the decision-makers, really don’t. If you can’t push that person off to a technical follow-up meeting, then do your very best to answer as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you’ll bore the rest of the audience. And if your detail-questioner won’t stop? Push back by asking them question 7. Remember question 7 – Why now? Ask that person about timelines and urgency, and compelling events. Usually, they won’t be able to answer, or they won’t have the authority to answer it alone, and they’ll toss it to the decision-makers. Then you can move on. I mean, you’ve offered them a dedicated session just about the things they want to talk about; what more can you do that won’t bother the rest of the audience? Okay, quick recap here. You establish trust first in you, then the company, and that’s done early on. At this point, and only at this point, do you want to talk about features. And even then, not for too long. The point is that the decision-makers want to know that the thinking and work have been done beforehand and that you’re transparent with that info. The true detail work will be done in a technical meeting, a bake-off, or an RFP. It doesn’t belong in this meeting. Check back soon for Question 9. What’s the risk of doing nothing?