Last week I received an email from someone who was interested in having me speak at an upcoming sales conference. I reached out via email to set up a day and time to discuss exactly what he was looking for and see if I was the right person for his event. Twenty-four hours later he had not responded, so I picked up the phone and called him.

“Is this a good time to talk?” I asked.

“Um, I’m heading into a meeting. Can I call you this afternoon?” I told him that I wasn’t available later in the day and suggested we connect the following day.

He replied, “Actually, my meeting looks like it might delayed a bit, so let’s do it now.”

My instincts screamed out “You don’t have enough time and you don’t have his complete attention! Reschedule!” Unfortunately, I ignored my instincts (never a good idea) and quickly asked a few discovery questions to gain some insight into what he was looking for.

However, I did a much less thorough job than I normally do. I knew that he was focused on getting to his meeting, and I allowed that to rush me. I am a strong proponent of doing thorough due diligence before suggesting a solution or preparing a proposal, something I did not do in this situation.

I hung up the phone shaking my head because I knew I didn’t have enough information to position my presentation in a way that would differentiate me from the other speakers he was considering. Needless to say, I did not get the gig.

Don’t make the same mistake I did. Find the time for a thorough discovery call so you can position your solution most effectively.

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