We know how important it is for our doer-sellers to truly understand our clients. When people understand those they serve, they solve problems more creatively, provide better service and build stronger relationships.
To develop an in-depth understanding of our clients and prospects, it’s important for our doer-sellers to not only spend time with them but to actually put themselves in their clients’ and prospects’ shoes.
With this in mind, we developed a training session for our doer-sellers called “Confessions of a Client: How to Get Me.” In this presentation, our marketing team shared our story and personal observations about being on the prospect’s side of the sales process. We discussed how we selected a firm to assist with our brand refresh and website overhaul, covering everything from how we determined which firms would be invited to participate in the bid process to how we ultimately selected our vendor.
My guess is most of you have a similar story to tell, and this can be very powerful in showing the sales process from prospect’s perspective.
Looking back at how we selected a partner, we believe these were their keys to success:
- They identified us as a target. They made it known that we were a firm they wanted to work with.
- They made contact. They used their network to identify in-roads and set up meetings. They paid attention to what information was being published by us and about us. They used this information and their network to build a relationship with us.
- They helped us for no other reason than to help us. When they first reached out to us, we were NOT ready to build a new website, and we let them know very directly. They helped us anyway—by passing along helpful information, calling us when they spotted interesting opportunities in the market, offering introductions to others, etc.
- They practiced patience. They checked in with us regularly and made sure we knew they were waiting in the wings for the opportunity, but never assumed they were our only option.
- They made mistakes. BUT they did a great job recovering from those mistakes.
- They were on our team. We knew they were the right pick for us because it felt like they were already on our team, well before we officially selected them. They guided us throughout the process, from getting budget and buy-in from leadership to establishing a baseline price range.
- They compensated for their perceived weaknesses. They played to their strengths, and found ways to make sure we knew it. They also asked what their weaknesses were and addressed how they would overcome them.
- They asked for the work and were prepared to close the deal. At every stage in the process, they made sure that we knew how much they wanted to work with us. They also knew that the decision might not be unanimous among our various decision-makers, but they had prepared for this by identifying their champion within our firm and making sure that champion would go to bat for them.
- They won the work. Enough said.
- They continue to win work. They regularly stay in contact with us to understand what we’re working on, what our priorities are, what challenges we’re facing, and so on. And they continue to find ways to help us with these priorities and challenges.
Summary: Share Your Story!
This is just one example of our own experience as the prospect. Consider sharing your own story with your doer-sellers to offer a different perspective on the sales process and to help them put themselves in their clients’ shoes.