As a salesperson, it can be so easy to get ahead of yourself during a sales pitch. Your prospective client will start asking questions and you excitedly will answer them with glorious, mostly-true, projections of what your team can accomplish all in an effort to win the prospect’s business.
In the heat of the moment and in an effort to close the deal, it is easy to over promise. In dealing with one organization that was supplying my company with a service, they continually would tell me, “That feature will be available in the next version.” Whenever I asked when the next version would be released, they would give me a date that was slightly farther away than their last projected launch. They were over-promisers and under-deliverers.
There is often a huge disconnect between customer service representatives and salespeople. Salespeople often go for the glamourous approach in selling their product, and rightfully so, their paycheck and job depend on it. Customer service representatives focus on building and retaining relationships so that the profits are not from a one-time signing bonus and commission but recurring revenue for the company.
Key to a Win-Win Sales Relationship
If you have ever taken a sales course, you are more than likely familiar with the concept of a “Win-win Relationship.” This is where both the selling company and the receiving client both benefit from a relationship. This healthy, mutualistic relationship is coveted among both buyers and sellers because it is most profitable, comfortable and relatively safe. The key to a win-win business relationship can be summarized in one phrase: “Under Promise and Over Deliver.”
- Under Promise: If you think you can have something in place for your client by the end of the week, tell them you can have it early the following week. This leaves room for error. If you are truly selling quality work, the client will be willing to wait a few extra days for your solution to be implemented.
- Over Deliver: If you complete your project earlier than the date you told your client, you can give it to them before they expect it and in turn, you over deliver. Over delivering also means going the extra mile. No matter what you are selling, you can spend a few minutes to make your product even better than they expected. This could be organizing some help documents or setting up a few user accounts or polishing the new car before they drive it off your lot. Regardless of your product, service or solution, do not settle for the bare minimum, go above and beyond.
- Follow-up: This very well could be the most crucial element to building and maintaining a longterm win-win sales relationship with your client. The signing of a contract is just the beginning of a sale. Then you have implementation and then you have satisfaction. Follow-up via email or phone or hand written note with your client about a month or so after you have fully implemented the sale. Don’t sign the letter, “I look forward to working with you again.” Instead just follow-up and make sure that your client is fully satisfied. Then do it again 6 months later. Keeping in touch with your clients without trying to sell them on something new every time you talk will go a long way to developing a long-lasting Win-win relationship.
Id’ love to hear some of your strategies for developing a win-win sales relationship.