My kids are ten-year-old twins, and they do everything together. So we have an annual late-summer tradition where I travel, one-on-one, with each child. These trips have become fabulous experiences and memories, and “the other twin” does some special activities with my wife at home while we’re gone.
I’m just back from such a trip with my son. We went to Philadelphia, where we saw the Cubs lose a heartbreaker to the Phillies and took in the amazing U.S. history there. You can literally feel the birth of America there.
(Soon I go to Amelia Island with my daughter who wants to hunt for big shells and shark teeth on the beach.)
These are singular, unforgettable experiences for us.
Similarly, we should be creating singular, unforgettable experiences for our customers and prospects.
We need to talk to people in a way that’s in their best interest, without fear of losing the sale. We need to talk to prospects in a way that’s helpful to them, in a way that nobody else talks to them. Challenge preconceived notions. Push back where necessary, if it will be helpful to the prospect.
Let me give you two examples:
After spending four hours in a sales meeting with a prospect recently, I gave them some feedback before leaving. I observed their conversation with each other, and told them there is a complexity to their interaction, and that they need to simplify things as a leadership team. One of the things they needed to simplify was their consideration of whether to work with me. It’s not hard: do you want to grow, and if so when do you want to start adding 10-20% to your top line? There is the decision. I’m guessing nobody has ever told them this before. They became a client, and have repeatedly told me that this interaction was memorable and immediately helpful to them.
I have another large prospect now, which has insisted on sharing the details and the (considerable) price of my project with their group of general managers for approval. I do not think they will get buy in, and to have a successful project, I need these managers’ buy in, and I have a detailed process for going about getting it within the project. I think they’re going to lose them as soon as they share the price, and it will make it much harder for me to get them on board. These people have not been through our relationship building and project framing. They were uninvolved. They will be likely be against the project, as it’s (1) very expensive and (2) an indirect indictment of the managers’ performance. (“We don’t need to hire this guy, we’re good. We got it!”)
I’ve made this argument to multiple people in the prospect ownership group. I’ve done it on the phone in multiple conversations, and I’ve done it by email. Again, a singular experience for the prospect. How many sales people do you think have advised them on how to make their buying decision to maximize the success of the project?
Nevertheless, the prospect insists to speak to the general managers. Last week, I decided to let it go. It’s their company, their sales growth, their people. I’d like to help them. And I did my best to give us the best chance at success. But I have a lot of prospects and clients, and I need to give fair time to all of them. This prospect will let me know this week how their conversation with the GMs goes. But I’ve seen enough of these that I have a pretty good idea that it won’t be helpful to our work.
We try to do our best to help the prospect.
And if they still decide not in our favor, we did our best. And we can all live with that.
And then we move on. And we start again, trying to help the next person in the right and memorable way.
To add 10-20% annually to your sales, as my clients do, please call me directly at 847-459-6322.
My web site is http://www.Goldfayn.com
And my brand new podcast is here. It’s called Sell More Now, and my singular goal is to help you do what the title says. We are adding at least one new episode every week. Subscribe so you don’t miss anything.
My clients add 10 to 20% annually to their sales -- every year -- by taking simple action repeatedly and systematically. My clients are manufacturers, distributors and service companies in mature industries like lumber, pipes and valves, chemicals, and steel. If you would like to add 10-20% to your sales quickly and easily, call me directly at 847-459-6322.