With her best customer looking for something creative to solve his inventory issues, Ginny realized that none of her immediate ideas sounded likely to impress the customer.
The appointment she had set to show off her best solutions was two days away, and Ginny was feeling pressure to perform. After a sleepless night that had her churning more unsatisfactory thoughts, she woke up feeling like this account might be a goner because of her lack of magic. Ginny started to realize she was taking a test but had no information about how to get a passing grade. Feeling like the request had been a bit unreasonable, Ginny then realized she knew how to solve this problem.
Many business development professionals find themselves in the exact situation that was causing Ginny all this anxiety. With the best intentions to show a good customer how invested and capable they are, too many people take the bait when the customer throws the problem at them and asks to be blows away with some brilliant idea. Ginny did not slow down long enough to think about the trap she had sprung on herself in committing to solve this challenge with little to no input from the person that wanted the issue alleviated. Ginny did not ask any questions that would give her at least an idea of what this customer might be willing to accept as a solution.
Rather than letting an ego get you in trouble before you even know it, slowing down and asking questions about what has been attempted before, who else has been involved in finding the solution, what the cost of not fixing the problem was, or even how the customer was personally impacted by the situation, a seasoned pro will slow down and dig into these types of challenges. Ginny needs to possibly even start with a statement about not knowing if she can fix it. This will slow the train down and stop it from running you over and costing you a high value customer. Working into the future with some classic “let’s pretend…” voodoo will test the waters and keep you from doing a bunch of guessing that will most likely create frustration for you and your customer. If you cannot get the customer to invest with you the end result can be very costly.
This is probably something that every person listening or reading has been through. Please send us your examples of how you did get run over, how you avoided getting run over, or how you only got half-way run over and got the customer to be on board with finding a solution. We can't wait to see those.
Final Thoughts for the Morning:
"Your customer doesn't care how much you know until they know how much you care." - Damon Richards
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, personal or professional, and the GD tactics you plan to deploy.