Valentine looked at his schedule and realized he is set to go visit a favorite client, or maybe a prospect, or maybe even still a suspect, this week. He absolutely loved spending time with this person and company. It was so easy to get into the office and visit with all the staff in the office and grab a few minutes with the CEO to catch up and see what’s happening in their world. Thinking about the last few visits, Valentine realized that those conversations with the CEO tend to never discuss business, but kids, family, politics and just about everything else. The CEO drives the conversations and always seems happy with the visit. Valentine knows he has products that can help with the company’s bottom line and benefit the customer base, but it never, ever gets to that point to talk about them. Yet, these visits make his month and the time spent with the client is always a good time.
Valentine is caught in an interesting place. Everyone likes to be liked and welcomed into others’ lives. Walking into a building and having everyone be happy to see you and enjoy conversing with you is a wonderful feeling. It makes the day go by well and feels like real relationships are being forged. However, one might get into sales because they can "talk to anyone” but the real reason anyone must be in sales is to make money. Valentine needs to take a good, hard look at what is happening when he calls on his favorite “client.”
Valentine can LOVE spending time with individuals or companies, but that is not his goal while on the clock. The time has come for Valentine to truly spend some time and evaluate the effort he is putting into this “client” and find out how to get this client back on track to talk business or move this beloved client into the prospect or suspect list.
Valentine needs to have a serious talk with himself and the client. First, with himself he needs to review what the client has purchased or used from him over the years. A full evaluation of the client is to make sure Valentine really knows what happening with the account. Areas to review include purchases, referrals and introductions, “favors” that the client has requested, and maybe the projects and relationships the CEO has. Can any of that benefit Valentine?
Next, Valentine needs to have a business conversation with the CEO. A way to start the conversation would be to give the CEO homework before the next visit. This is a great test to see if the CEO engages with business or if maybe the CEO is not really interested and makes excuses about not getting to it. Perhaps the CEO has no true needs and just enjoys Valentine’s visits but doesn’t have the heart to tell him. Valentine needs to come up with a plan on how to find out what is going on with the CEO, the business and the future expectations.
Spending time with suspects that aren’t buying or helping you to achieve your goals is the same as those people stealing from you. Without sounding trite, time is money, and true sales pros know that and know how to manage relationships and expectations of clients, prospects and suspects.
Have you ever been in a position like Valentine? How did you handle bringing the account back into “good standing” or make the choice to limit the resources you spent with that client? How did you handle it?
Final Thought for the Morning:
“Where there is great love, there are always wishes.” - Willa Cather
Your Top 3 Goals & Tactics for the Week
Update us on how things went last week with your stated Goals and GD Tactics.
Please share your Top 3 Goals for this week and the GD tactics you plan to deploy.