Recently I was in a client’s office when we got to talking about cross-selling – that old chestnut that every firm strives to conquer and yet few manage to do well. They were telling me that they saw an opportunity to grow a key client account, but they were nervous about introducing the lead from the other department to their beloved client. He simply hadn’t ‘earned their trust’.
Now, all of you know that I think building trust with your clients is the ‘secret sauce’ for building and sustaining business. But what some of you may not know is that I think the trust you build internally – with individual colleagues and between different departments – is just as critical. Because if you don’t trust the people you work with, you’ll never refer them or get them to help you with a client. Protective and divisive behavior rules the day, and we all know that does not a successful business make.
And yet, internal protective and divisive behavior by people [...]
Having spent more than 25 years working in sales, client relationships and business development, I have seen and heard more than my fair share of things that salespeople and providers do in client meetings and client interactions that truly make me cringe. And as soon as I tell anyone I’m a sales coach, I usually get bombarded with people telling me their worst stories of when someone tried to sell them something in a really, really bad way.
The thing that continues to surprise me is that everyone who sells is also sold to – be it in their personal or professional life. And yet when they’re on the other side of the table, doing the selling or being the service provider, so many people commit the worst possible mistakes, and do some truly cringe worthy stuff.
So I decided to put together my list of the top 10 things I see people do in meetings that really annoy clients and potential clients (in no particular order):
1. The blame game.< [...]
I’ve recently noticed the same question being asked by many of my clients in regards to Requests for Proposals (RFPs). They want to know how to respond when a proposal comes into the market from an organisation that they really, really want to work with, but currently no relationship exists. This is a great question with a complex answer – which I will attempt to answer here, and also on the video below.
I, of course, will say that 10 times out of 10, if you have no relationship with the economic buyers/decision makers at the client organisation at the moment when the RFP comes out, you should not bid. But I’m also a realist and know that there is always a BUT or WHAT IF.
So, if you’re not going to say no outright, then the first and most critical question to ask yourself in determining whether or not to bidis can you get access to key decision makers before the decision is made? If, after evaluating this question you don’t believe that there’s [...]