Archive for the ‘relationships’ Category

In Theory

February 22, 2011

In theory, you should win this deal.  Your product is newer, faster, cheaper, and comes in a cool new wrapper with a fancy logo.

In practice, though, you will lose.  You’ll lose because despite all of your product’s new features, people still buy from people they know, like, and trust…and while you were working your website, I was working on building relationships.

 

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Roll Up your Sleeves

February 11, 2011

No matter how much planning and preparation goes into a project, something, inevitably, will go wrong.  And when it does, you can sit around and wait for your peers to “do their job” and clean up the mess, or you can roll up your sleeves, take ownership of the issue, and drive it to resolution.

The first option, of course, is much easier on you, and a much more common reaction.  But the second will earn you the uncommon respect of your customer, who’s grown accustomed to sales people who disappear when the you-know-what hits the fan.

People Forget…

January 25, 2011

All things considered, we’ve got pretty short memories.  After some time has past, we’re more than willing to forgive and forget.  Take BP, for example.  Their gas stations are brimming with business 8 short months after 206 million gallons of gas spilled into the Gulf of Mexico.

And by the end of this year’s NFL regular season, it was like Michael Vick had never left.  For us, life goes on.

What you’ve got to realize is that your customers have short memories too.  6 months from now, they’ll forget how you helped them out of a jam, worked with them to save a lot of money, or finished the project early so they could make their son’s soccer game.

That’s why, every day, you need to fight for relevance…to re-earn your customer’s trust and respect, and make sure that they haven’t forgotten exactly why they do business with you.

Bad Business

November 5, 2010

There is such a thing as bad business.

You know in your heart who they are – customers or prospects that abuse their position and are never, ever satisfied.   They marginalize your value by pitting you against your competitors, leaving you with razor-thin margins.  To them, you are a commodity broker.  They refuse to recognize your value and therefore don’t appreciate what you bring to the table.

As hard as this is to consider, some customers aren’t worth it.  The B.S.-to-Income ratio is simply too high.

Fire these customers.  Tell them whatever you want; just get out.  The time and dignity you reclaim as a result will be more than worth it.

Dividends

June 25, 2010

In the corporate world, companies sometimes distribute a portion of their profits to shareholders in the form of dividends. Generally speaking, dividends are a positive sign: the company is doing well, well enough to share the profits with those who own company stock.

Of course, the only way to become eligible to receive these dividends is to invest in the company paying the dividend. You must choose first to contribute before you receive a share of the profits in return.

Funny how this concept is paralleled in the world of sales, isn’t it?

The return phone call, the meeting acceptance, the sole-source bid, the purchase order, the referral – are all dividends paid out in relationships with our customers. They’re what every salesperson craves. But just like in the corporate world, you’ll never reap these dividends unless you become an investor first.


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