This series of blogs is to do with the reality that many of us in Sales function face every day.
While we may have had the best of training, with the best of trainers and mentors and bosses, we may have been born with the sales smarts, we may even have picked up some selling acumen through sheer experience, we have to live the with reality that CUSTOMER is indeed KING ….has been, is, and always will be.
NOW…your customers/clients KNOW this reality and despite all your selling prowess, still play dirty with you, trick you and lead you up the garden path. Sadly , very often, you do fall victim to your customer’s tricks and these series are an attempt to highlight some common tricks that customer’s play with you.
DIRTY TRICK #1: The Free Consulting Request
- Explanation: A demand that you provide substantial up-front work without any commitment from them.
- Example: “We’ll consider you for the job if you write us a detailed, 50 page requirements document.”
- Their Hidden Agenda: They want the benefit of your experience and knowledge for free.
- Your Strategy: Before agreeing to do any up-front work, demand a significant concession that will help you close the business.
- What YOU Say: “We’ll be happy to work with you on that document, providing you give us regular access to your top management team.”
- What Will Happen: You’ll get the inside track on developing the opportunity.
- Warning: If you don’t demand something significant, the customer will know you’re a patsy.
Personally I have faced this dilemma ever so often and have just learnt to discern the serious customer from the one who is playing you.
There is no short cut to “learning” this…it comes from a series of cases, of failures, rewinding the entire “case” in your mind, discussing with your mentor/boss, analyzing what exactly went wrong in the engagement, and imbibing that into your client engagement SOP and looking for warning signs the next time around, so that you are not walked across the garden path again!
LET THE CUSTOMER BEWARE!!!