Sondra worked relentlessly to hit her numbers and keep her territory on top of the rankings. Never shy about asking for business, if a sales report showed a dip in the numbers, Sondra would beat the bushes for the orders that might help push her over the goal for that quarter. Her customers believed her products were top-notch, as did other users down the distribution line. And because of this, if Sondra pushed a little at times, they often felt it wasn't too hard to accommodate her request to order early or more than planned.
After a while though, Sondra discovered that her customers' attitudes were changing. When she called for these "extra orders," customers were coming up with excuses as to why they couldn't help her. So, she pushed harder, but couldn’t change her downward trajectory. Without any more tricks in her bag, Sondra was confused about what to do next and she couldn't stand to miss her goals.
Sondra's drive was both her best asset and her worst enemy. Sales is a game of numbers, but you have to play that game with real live people. Sondra's customers appreciated her drive, but when she kept pushing them for orders just so she could hit her goals, her customers felt like she didn't care as much about them as she did about her own success. The constant push wore thin and, by not nurturing her customers, she had overdrawn the emotional bank accounts that keep relationships in balance. By being focused only on the numbers, she completely lost track of the people and their true needs. And the harder she pushed, the harder it was for her customers to listen or feel like helping her.
The three most important words in sales are Nurture, Nurture, and Nurture. Because selling is a person-to-person business, you must always be mindful of the feelings and the egos of those you prospect or sell to. When a salesperson has "commission breath", the odor tells the customer that the most important person in the transaction is the salesperson. Nothing could be more detrimental to sales success than creating that impression.
Sondra needs to ask for help and be sure the orders are good for her customers' business. She needs to pay attention to the people, to their day-to-day struggles, their profit drivers, and regularly make deposits in their emotional bank accounts by nurturing these relationships every chance she gets. Sondra should learn that a customer becomes a true partner when they believe you will do what's best for them even if it isn't best for you.
Can you think of one account where you are already really great at nurturing them on every interaction? Do you have one where you could work to make sure you are nurturing a little more?
Final Thought for the Morning:
"Trust is not a matter of techniques, tricks or tools, but of character." ~ Anonymous
"When the trust account is high, communication is easy, instant and effective." ~ Stephen Covey
Your Top 3 Goals & Tactics for the Week
LAST WEEK: Update us on how things went last week with your stated Goals and GD Tactics.
THIS WEEK: Please share your Top 3 Goals for this week and the GD tactics you plan to deploy.