How do you answer the question "What if it does not work?" in relation to Business proposals and Business Ideas..
Generally people pose this question when they are presented with a business proposal.. Whats the best way to tackle it so that the investor does not lose on his investment.
Saying "we will make it work" is great, but doesn't help if the prospect doesn't believe that you can or will follow through.
When I started consulting, I used to avoid talking about things that could go wrong, thinking it would slow down or kill the sales cycle. Over time, I realized that it's important to discuss these things. First, it actually boosts your credibility (would you want to go to a heart surgeon who says, "it's simple and nothing ever goes wrong"?). Second, you can discuss what you have done in other situations to avoid these problems, and how you handle them if they do arise.
Deal with this question up front. Before you give a proposal in the first place. Also, refer to Richard Wheeler's response to your question below.
The confidence is definitely there to deliver the product and services to make it work. It is a matter of representing the Risk and how we are geared to handle it as stated here which I may need to R&D on further to ensure all ends are covered..
Thanks everyone for your input. It has indeed opened my eyes in perspective.
I like Rahul' answer. I agree with his idea of saying ""If it does not work, then we will make it work!". Finding solutions to problems have never been easy and sweet as a cake. So what we need is not just skills and knowledge but also the guts to face the challenge. Our attitude towards a certain problem also matters.
You should already have dealt with the question because that question ALWAYS applies. The answer has two parts.
First, before making the proposal, you should ask, "What could cause this to fail?" Break the proposed product or service into its major parts and Identify the risks that could cause each part to fail. Determine which risks have both a high probability of happening and a high impact on the proposed idea. Then determine actions that can reduce the probability and impact of each risk to acceptable levels. Before performing this step, read the chapter on Risk Management in any good text on preparing for PMI's PMP certification.
Second, include a section on Risk Management in the proposal. Identify the major risks and what you plan to do about them in order to ensure success.
A complete product life cycle plan always includes an end phase for ending support, decommissioning an installation, discontinuing the product, and disposal of the product and support assets such as manufacturing equipment, spare parts, and personnel. The end-of-life plan should deal with how to end the endeavor at each stage, whether the idea fails at the beginning or has a long and fulfilling life.
By the time your sponsor finishes reading your proposal, "What if it does not work" should already have been answered with what could cause failure, what can be done to reduce the likelihood and impact of failure, and what will be done if failure happens.
I am a big American Football fan, and I look at the question this way.
When the offence gets to the line they have a play that is called. With that said if the QB thinks the play is not going to work after looking at the defense he calls an audible to a different play to beat the defense. Business is no different.
In a presentation you have a very detailed play to beat the competition but remember to have flexibility to change the plan as the market changes in your plan.
No, I am not saying to have a plan "B" the investor will run. Just detail the plan based on what is known currently and explain that you have created flexibility to to change on the fly.
To me that is a plan and really it would answer the question before it is even asked, which is always a plus.
All the best.
I guess I haven't looked through such a statement to the most. But then, if I ever find such things put-forth, probably I may be telling "It'll work out better for sure and we have been serving the best over years. If you really find it optional, we can then be assuring you with a money back. Nevertheless we're sure enough that we can make it happen with our professionals!"
If somebody asks you "What if it does not work?"
Then always reply "If it does not work, then we will make it work!"
Say it confidently without a glitch on your face.
This always works. Every business reaches a time when things don't go the way you wanted them to go. It is important at this time, that you don't quit and make things go your way. Modify your way of doing things and get all the barriers out of your business.