Yes, even on a good week, I can still find a way a times to step into a big of pile of learning and humility that grows me into a better leader. I hope these tips resonate.
Leaving Room For Surprise.
One of the basic tactics in sales negotiation is to never be the first to talk. I made this mistake today in a different way by being the first to stake my position, and not leaving room to hear the full explanation of the request made on me in the sales process. You may, like us, have a set sales process – the series of steps you’d like things to take during your sales process. But the error lies in forgetting to leave room for clients who might by asking you for things slightly outside of your normal process. They may not be very clear with the intent of their request, which might leave you wondering if this is for real, or if what they’re asking you might be wasteful , or not a good use of your time or effort.
I’m not saying you should do free work. I’m just saying that, at first glance, it can be best to go with what the client needs, instead of forcing them into your own presuppositions based on the work you think they should be asking for.
Not Holding to My MLE.
I let a contract come in that was below our minimum level of engagement (MLE). I think there’s a long-term play here for this client, but sometimes I sit back and wonder if, by making a concession, I’m really honoring the fact that we have a minimum level of engagement. I think every company needs to have a minimum level of engagement. It’s where you services start, and where you won’t go below. It was a snap decision, and I think it will work out best, but I’m sure there was room to negotiate around to our MLE.
Mistaking Knowledge for Intent.
Also, it’s important to know that when a client knows what they want and is in the final stages of deciding upon a provider, they might not be as keen on you as they seem to be. The lesson here is to come back to your sales process and make sure that you’ve established your firm in their mind before you’ve talked about pricing and process. They have to want to work with you first!
If they aren’t sold on you, it’s not worth playing along. Build the relationship and don’t just pump out a proposal without make sure where you are in their mind. Look for them to wait for your proposal, not to give you a deadline for your submission.
So, there you have it: a few missteps that might help you navigate the waters of sales to find fit with your potential customers. May your month be filled with steps towards your goals!