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During a training session focused on developing business, a participant asked me to give them the specific steps that would lead from meeting a prospect to closing the sale. “We should not even have this training,” they said. “Just write us a list of what we are supposed to do, when to do it, and what questions to ask to land the work.”
Have you ever talked to a salesperson on the phone or in a meeting who was clearly reading from their reliable script of how to get you to buy? What was your reaction? If you are like most, you lose interest because it is all about them and what they are selling when the focus should be on you.
After coaching many clients regarding building business relationships, I have proof that there were many formulas for success. Individuals who succeed tend to focus on their strengths when pursuing business. Their strengths are different from the strengths of others, so their formula for success may seem different on the surface. The most successful ones also know that each potential client, individual contact, and organization has their own likes and dislikes. There are so many variables.
Here are examples of different formulas:
- Learning what is important to the client and giving it to them.
- Learning how the client likes to work with vendors and adapting your deliverables to their liking.
- Learning what is hot in the client’s industry, and supplying information to them about the trends.
- Asking the client questions about all of the above in order to be responsive to their needs.
- Understanding the organizational structure and processes. The contact may want to buy the product or services, but; the timing is bad for the company, they are not the decision maker, there are complications they cannot discuss with you, etc.
I really described only one formula: A + L = D. Ask questions plus Listen and hear the answers equals Deliver the right environment to satisfy the clients needs, objectives, and trust level in order for them to buy from you.
People get caught up in the algorithms, because behavior should be predictable. Actually, the greatest highs and lowest lows happen with the unpredictable.
As one of my clients used to say, “It’s all fluid.”