I’m working with a client today about strengthening his pipeline. He has a proprietary technology that will supposedly change the world, has some supposedly incredibly well-connected salespeople, and yet he hasn’t closed any business.

As we went through his pipeline, it became obvious why: His thinking, speech, and actions are not precise. Every opportunity he described was vague, hopeful, and long-winded, but not crisp or compelling. “This one might start soon, but we have no idea what the pilot will be or what will happen next. But we are really excited about it.”

To succeed in selling, you need to be precise. Every mention of a business opportunity should be focused on these questions:

1. How does the prospect define value?

2. How do we connect what we do to the prospect’s definition of value?

3. What do we have to do to move this opportunity forward, and by when?