In last week’s post we spoke about the power your prospect has and how to utilize that for the benefit of your business. Today we will talk about 5 big mistakes you can make that may jeopardise the deal with your prospect.
- Failing to meet the client’s expectations
- Mishandling a client crisis
- Taking on more than you can handle
- Putting all your eggs in one basket
- Up cash creek without a paddle
Any one or combination of these can not only jeopardise the partnership, but also have the ability to take down your company as well. In the coming weeks I will delve into each of these mistakes, but for today we will cover the first two.
Not Meeting Client’s Expectations
It’s essential you give your client’s exactly what you promised during the negotiation phase of your partnership. If an event does occur where it’s impossible to meet the client’s expectations, you’ll have to figure out a way to fix the situation and also determine where it went wrong.
A couple of things could have contributed to this problem:
- Poor salesmanship. This could mean the salesperson was trying too hard to seal the deal and didn’t listen to the client’s needs.
- Lack of communication. This breakdown occurs between the salesperson and your operations department.
In order to avoid these mistakes, it’s essential to put a clear plan of action into place that all of your sales staff can follow:
- Think before you speak.
- Give yourself a break.
- Perfect your process.
- Pre-format over-deliverables.
- Stay hands-on throughout the entire process.
- Define success.
Mishandling a Client Crisis
Crisis’ will happen, but how you respond and fix them will define your company and interaction with your clients. You need to respond quickly and effectively. This will help you gain even more trust and confidence from your client.
Here are some simple tips to help you deal with client crisis’:
- Take responsibility and apologize no matter who is at fault.
- Act swiftly and effectively.
- Step in and take control of the situation.
- Never point fingers or place blame.
- Stay in constant communication with your client.
- Stay calm throughout the situation.
- Keep your eye on the ball.
Now, that you know the top two mistakes, you’ll know better how to avoid making these mistakes in the first place and know how to put a plan of action into place in case of a crisis. Next time we’ll talk about the 3rd and 4th mistake you can make when working with ‘Big’ clients.
If you need help with any of this, try our GUIDED TOUR to get all the help you could ever need.
In the last post we discussed how to navigate the negotiation stage with your prospect and how to nurture and build on the relationship you are creating with them. Today we’ll talk about the power your prospect has and how to utilize that for the benefit of your business.
One of the most important aspects of this is to keep your cheerleader cheering. This refers to the partner you created in the company who needs to stay loyal to you in order to continue a profitable partnership with your prospect. You can keep this partnership going by offering or doing a number of things to show your appreciation. Some of these things include:
- Sharing the limelight.
- Thanking their company with new products/services.
- Emotionally connecting them to your company.
- Knowing when to leave them alone.
- Staying on the front line.
Now that you have some ideas of how to maintain solid relationships, you’ll need to seek out people to build these relationships with. These alliances will help you find bigger clients that stay with you for the long haul. You can often get a foot in the door by offering them something they need:
- Better work experience
These are all great ways to feed your alliance. You need to go into a relationship considering the things your prospect can offer you besides money. These can include:
- The opportunity for your business to expand.
- The opportunity to learn from the experience and find ways to grow.
- The opportunity to improve your processes, systems and other means of doing business.
These are some of the best ways to strengthen your alliances and keep your partnerships fresh and content.
If you need help with any of these tactics, try our GUIDED TOUR for great tools and resources that can help you every step of the way.
In the last post we spoke about getting a feel for your prospects personality to best match it with your appropriate sales person. Today we will discuss how to prepare for the first meeting with your prospective client.
Here are a few things to consider for your first face to face meeting:
- Make a list of what you want to accomplish during the meeting.
- Anticipate potential concerns from the client.
- Check to make sure you are completely prepared.
- Listen more than you talk.
- Bring support staff with you.
- Use and respect the clients’ format.
- Always follow through.
- Ask for what you need and seal the deal.
- Find ways to simplify your prospects life.
- Find ways to boost your credibility.
- Build and nurture relationships.
- Learn from “no” – find out what didn’t work so you know how to change it for the next time.
Having the confidence behind your company and product will help to catch that big fish. The next step of the process is negotiation.
Here are some tips to help you negotiate successfully:
- Build a pricing strategy and stick with it.
- Prioritize what you plan to offer. This should include what really matters to you and what you are willing to give in on.
- Don’t give in too quickly.
- Negotiate with a person, not a “company”. Don’t let their answer be that they would like to, but can’t.
- Don’t sell yourself short.
- Mitigate your pricing. If you go to low you won’t be able to raise it back up and you need to make a profit.
- Don’t sacrifice quality for the deal.
- Your services should always count as costs.
- Boost margins with add-ons.
- Handle request for proposals with the utmost care.
These are some ways to ensure both parties are getting the best possible outcome from the partnership. Once you start meeting or working together, it’s important to continue to build on your relationship as they will be more likely to vouch for you and build on the partnership you have with their company.
If you need help with any of the negotiation or courting process, try our GUIDED TOUR to get access to a wealth of great tools and resources to help you be successful.
In the last post we discussed how to determine who your prospect will be and how to make a lasting first impression on them. Today we are going to talk about getting a feel for your prospects personality so that you can best match it with your appropriate sales person.
Firstly, it will be helpful to profile your salespeople’s personalities. There are essentially three different selling personalities:
- The One In The Know
- The Pal
- The Pitbull
The One In the know
This salesperson offers knowledge, experience, comfort and trust. They can make a concerned customer feel at ease. In order to be successful they need plenty of information, a demo of the product/service, references and case studies, if possible.
Much like it sounds this salesperson is great at building relationships. They can instantly relate to the prospective client and make them seem like old friends in no time. They work best with clients who are looking for friendship, information and in a similar peer group as the salesperson. This can include anything from age and culture to hobbies and nightlife. The resource’s this personality type needs is help pairing with the right client, entertainment and the right information to meet the client’s needs.
This personality type is a little more aggressive than the others. They are all about business and the bottom line. This may seem harsh to a lot of people, there is a set of business people out there that want the same thing and respect someone who can get down to business. This salesperson will need to be trusted with a little authority as they will likely be closing deals on the spot. They’ll need plenty of resources and access to products and services. They are best placed in environments where they can work independently, exercise their authorative discretion and seal deals quickly.
These personalities can all be successful when each is used in the right selling environment. You can see how matching the right salesperson for the client can secure more prospective clients and for a longer period of time.
If you need help figuring out which of your salespeople fit into these three areas, try our GUIDED TOUR and work with one of our amazing coaches to get your plan in action.
In the last post we discussed ways to learn more about the ‘big fish’ companies you will be approaching and how crucial your first contact with them is – as this will instill the confidence in them that you will deliver what you’re promising. Today we will talk about how to determine which company to approach first and how to make a great first impression.
There are a series of things to go through when choosing which ‘fish’ to approach first. These are:
- Positioning your business
- Compiling your list
- Selecting the most suitable target
Positioning your business
Position your business in preparation for the approach by listing your revenue streams, operational procedures, and do some research on the companies you’re considering.
Compile your list
Start with a list of all the companies you’ve been considering. Then narrow it down to the ones who you know would benefit from your products and services.
Select the most suitable target
Once you’ve got your list narrowed down, you need to decide which one is the most suitable. Here are a few things to consider:
- Who has the most purchasing resources to spend?
- Does their company vision align with yours?
- Do their employee incentive programs relate to your products/services?
- What’s the company’s real need for you?
- Will the partnership lead you off-course?
Now you should have your target in mind, it’s time to plan your approach. Here’s a step-by-step plan to help you make a lasting first impression:
- Build and analyze your database. Divide your leads into three different categories: hot leads, great fits and secondary leads.
- Send out introductory mailings to your target to introduce yourself, your company, services, products, and vision. They need to be short, clean and concise.
- Follow up with your first phone call 2-3 days after they would have received the mailings. During the phone call find out whom you need to be speaking with in the future and try to set up a meet with the right person.
- Follow up your phone call with another mailing that thanks them for taking the time to speak with you and offer more details about your products/services. Use this letter and opportunity to set up a meeting to do a presentation.
- Follow up the letter with another phone call a couple of days after they would have received the letter. This phone call is to help you further develop your relationship with the prospective client. You should also be able to set up a presentation meeting with them.
- Call again a week later if they haven’t agreed to a meeting or presentation. Ask if they received your creative letter (the second one) and if they have a minute when you can stop by and introduce yourself in person.
Don’t feel discouraged if you don’t seal the deal right away. Some people simply take a little longer to woo. This can all be a little intimidating at first, but when you are confident in offering a quality product/service, you can’t go wrong.
Once you’ve gone through this process and made a good first impression, it’s time to put your best face forward, which means sending the right salesperson to seal the deal.
If you need help putting together your approach and make a good first impression, try our GUIDED TOUR to work with a coach and have access to a wealth of great resources and tools.