I was speaking to a reader of this blog recently. She shared with me how one particular post I’d written had an effect on her sales approach. I thought it was a great story. I asked her if she would be willing to share it and she said yes. — Sweet!
Here is Kimberly’s story about NOT being the customers bitch!
We have a new motto on our sales team – “Don’t be the customer’s bitch.”
If you missed it you must read Keenan’s blog entry about this, it is fabulous and changed the way I think about how I move the sale.
Even though I’ve always been pretty disciplined about ending a discovery call by scheduling the next, I haven’t always continued this practice through the stages. I would also send a proposal with a planned date to review which many times was rescheduled. This makes for a long sales cycle or loose them altogether.
Then, my Manager forwarded to our team – Don’t be the Customer’s Bitch. This hit me, am I the customer’s bitch? This did not sit well with me. I am nobody’s bitch. I’ve always considered myself value focused, strategic, and an asset – all qualities Keenan mentions in his post. But am I? Do they say jump and I say how high? Probably. Damn! I am the bitch.
So, I decided then and there to stop.
On my next discovery call, we ended with a scheduled follow up for a demo. After the demo, they requested a proposal. This time I didn’t say, “I’ll send it and let’s plan a time to review”. Instead, we scheduled a time for me to present the proposal live. Since I am NOT the bitch, I’m no longer sending proposals ahead of time and playing their “catch me if you can game.” During the proposal presentation, since it was live, we talked about the ways it will improve their business. All good. Then we got to price and it was not what they’d expected – by a lot. He doubted he could get this approved. We talked about how to build the case together to get it approved. Next call, done. From start to contract was 3 weeks.
I am convinced had I not taken control this deal would be dragging on.
I tried this on another prospect. Again, they requested a proposal and had I sent it that would have been the end. In this case when we got to price, he spent 3-4 minutes essentially telling me I was smoking crack. By the end of the call, we were good on price and working on terms. I can’t wait to see what this new approach does to my close rate and days to close rate. So, moral of the story – don’t be their bitch.
Love it. I say this to myself before every email I send and every call I get on.
Kimberly, Regional Sales Executive