I had a very interesting conversation with a prospective customer today. I was taken aback by a few things he said, one of which was “It sounds like you are trying to convince me not to take your services. You are selling me away from you.”
I laughed because I wasn’t trying to do that, but I wanted to put the ball in his court so he made the decision he was happy with, not one that I convinced him to make.
I have seen countless salespeople who are desperate to make a deal. They don’t care what the deal is, just that they focus on selling the deal. They will say anything, convince you that the product they are selling will do wonders for your business and then are off to the next customer.
If you are really sold on your products, you have to be willing to risk losing a deal. Now I am all for closing business, but my team and I are really looking for the right deals to bring aboard, not just “cash flow.”
It wasn’t really that I was pushing him to another vendor, but my point was that my proposition and the other vendor’s were not similar. One is a custom approach and the other is more of a template solution— which is a valid method, but not our business model.
So I told him that which one he picked was not important to me. The one he chose had to be important to him. This was not a strategic tactic I was employing; I was just being honest with how I want my company to build new business. Having partners who want to work together, not order takers.
I think this is important for all businesses. You need to understand what your business model is. It can be one of just getting the biggest piece of the market or maybe it is small and custom. Whatever it is, you have to own it and sell that to the customer.
I know it is very enticing when you are in the middle of talking about your services and you think a deal is going to happen. There is always a point where the closing side of you will do whatever it takes to get that deal closed. I just feel that my services are valuable and I am looking for clients who value what I do, not just hire me as a line item on their P&L. There are many agencies that will do that for you. We are not one of them.
So I finished the conversation by telling him that he has to decide. If he chooses the other vendor, I will not be upset. I told him I would still be here in 4-5 months when he will want to call me back.
He stated, “You seem pretty confident about your team.” Yes I am.