How to be a Professional Salesperson.©
Free Sales Training Video Series – Storytelling
Early in my career, I was assigned a Fortune 50 customer. Shortly after taking over the account I made a very nice sale. It was to upgrade this customer’s systems in 147 locations across the US. But those systems were really just a place holder for much more powerful and expensive systems that were going to replace the 147 systems I had just sold, in about 18 months.
This new opportunity was a big deal. I had a cubicle at the customer’s location. I had also managed to get one of our large computer systems that was being evaluated to be placed on loan in the customer’s data center. I even managed to get a meeting with the CFO and my district manager. Everything was looking good. After the technical evaluation I was shown the internal report from the IT department where we had won, hands down. Not even close.
My competitor didn’t have a rep onsite and did not bring in any systems to loan to the customer. The technical review found their systems somewhat lacking. What they did have, however, was a close relationship with the IT Director. The IT Director always wanted to work at my competitor’s company and short of getting that job, he wanted a close relationship. He wanted to be “one of the boys.” My competitor flew the IT Director to their corporate office, wined and dined him, which made him feel important and endearing to my competitor.
Yep, you guessed it. I lost the sale. I came up with lots of reasons why, but the real reason was because I underestimated the power of relationships. I thought just being better was good enough. I never let that happen to me again. Don’t let that happen to you either. Good relationships, especially in high profile, high dollar deals, are essential – if not key – to winning. First build your relationship, and then sell your product. Never forget that.
Did you enjoy that story? Stories are powerful ways for you to get your message across to your prospects. People like stories and enjoy relating to them.
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