When people buy from you they expect good results. So when they get what they paid for, it’s really nothing special. Therefore, when it’s time to buy again, those same people will consider you because you delivered. But they won’t necessarily buy from you, because again, it wasn’t anything special.
On the other hand, if there was a problem of any sort, you’re remembered as a problem, even if you corrected it. Consequently when it’s time to buy again your chances are slim.
So why is it that good doesn’t guarantee the upside, whereas bad pretty much cements the downside? It’s all about PR. See when things are going well, subordinates take all the credit. When things are not, the vendor takes the hit.
This is why it’s critical to get-to the top people to associate yourself with the success. This means you need to explain to the top people that what you did was special and why. Special gets the next job, if the boss feels that way and the boss has the last word. Special as seen by the subordinate will only get you a recommendation.
Worse yet, if you’re only called into the chief when there’s a problem, then you’re associated as a problem. And what subordinate idiot will recommend the problem again. But if you show the boss how you corrected the problem through your heroic efforts - because his business means so much to you - he will give you another chance and probably select you when it’s time to buy again.
1. Have top, c-level executive meetings immediately after getting the order or at the beginning of every project and always ask,
“How Mr or Ms Executive will you measure the success of this project, or deliverable?”
Get the person to be specific, i.e., concerns, what’s to be accomplished, motives, mileposts, rewards, timing, etc.? Never assume that delivering the specs are what’s enough to be special.
2. Ask the C-level person his vision of the path to accomplishing this success. If your path is different than his, he may get frustrated before success is accomplished and it will be hard to overcome his negativity.
3. Set up interim progress meetings to describe what’s happening, how it’s being done, and explain the efforts you’re making to assure success while mitigate problems.
a. Make people aware of your efforts. Talk about the successes you’re having with their project. Otherwise they assume anyone can do it.
b. Make a point to discuss problems and your corrective measures. This assures you get associated with delivering results while handling problems. This is also the foundation of a professional relationship.
4. Keep asking every executive,
“How do you feel so far?”
a. If it’s good, what impresses him/her? Then try to keep that going.
b. If it’s not so good or only OK, ask for recommendations on how to make it better to his or her satisfaction? Make him/her part of the solution and s/he will take ownership and help you.
Tak’n It to the Streets
Visit 2 top executives that you’ve delivered your product or service to:
1. Ask if your deliverable met his/her expectation.
2. What was the measurement s/he used to judge it’s success?
3. What did she/he like/appreciate the most?
4. What did she/he wish could have been different?
Implement these steps and your good work will get rewarded again and again.
Assume they know you did a good job, and you’ll be really annoyed when your competitor wins, when they buy again.
And now I invite you to learn more.
Bonus Tip: FREE VIDEO “9 Actions for Getting Past Gatekeepers and Handling Blockers”. Watch this short video and learn how to avoid the obstacles of getting to the ultimate, C-Level decision makers.
Sam Manfer makes it easy for any sales person to feel comfortable connecting with top, C-Level leaders. For more inspiring articles and to receive your free Selling Wisdoms E-zine with powerful selling tips visit his Advanced Sales Training Website at sammanfer.com.
Bonus Tip: FREE E-Book “Getting Past Gatekeepers and Handling Blockers”. Just click this C-Level Relationship Selling Link Sam Manfer makes it easy for any sales person to be effective and feel comfortable connecting with and relationship selling C-Level leaders.