Post author: Jason Terry
Hi friends! I’m back from Spring Break and mostly over the cold that so many people have been fighting over the past month. I was scuba diving in Curacao with a group from Midwest Aquatics and had a great time enjoying the peacefulness of the bottom of the ocean, resting and recharging my creative batteries.
We recently signed up a new client for blogging, email newsletter and LinkedIn training. Mark, the key decision maker, is someone that I’ve known for many years and done business with in the past. He’s also someone I trust and respect. The way he communicated with Mic and I during the sales process inspired me to write this week’s blog post…
How To Treat People During The Sales Process
Mark and I had lunch with our peer advisory group two months ago. As we were walking back to our cars, he mentioned that he wanted to talk more about how we could help his company tell their stories through blogging. He has a marketing team, but they had struggled implementing a strategy to use their website, LinkedIn and email newsletter to stay top of mind with their customers and vendors.
I followed up with a phone call the next week to talk about how we work with our clients and what it costs on a monthly basis. Mark liked our strategy and the efficiency of our process. He also liked that we would be doing the work on site with his marketing team. He decided to move to the next step and have us meet and discuss everything with his team. And that’s important point #1.
Involve your team in the decision making process.
Mic and I met with the marketing team to talk about how corporate storytelling can benefit sales efforts and company culture. (It’s usually the most consistent marketing effort a company has ever done.) We talked about why it works. We talked about how we would work together each month and what has to happen to achieve success. We talked about who should be involved. And we talked about pricing. It was a great meeting.
Mark met with his team two days later to discuss internally if what we proposed made sense for their employees and their company. By doing this, he was getting buy-in from the people that were going to be responsible for making it happen.
Smart. Instead of being told what they had to do, they were given the choice to decide what made the most sense.
Our meeting was on a Wednesday. The follow up internal team meeting was Friday morning. And Mark called me at 6pm Friday night, which leads me to important point #2.
Don’t leave your salesperson hanging.
Mark wanted to make sure I didn’t go into the weekend wondering how the internal conversation went. During our call, he told me that they were going to move forward and that we would get the contract in place the next week. It was a classy thing to do and something I’ve rarely experienced.
I’ve had to follow up too many times with a prospect to find out where things are at. The most recent situation involved 3 email follow ups, a voicemail on their company line, and then a voicemail on their personal cell phone making sure they were okay! It took a full week to get any kind of response. And of course I started wondering what I had done wrong… even though I hadn’t done anything wrong.
It doesn’t matter if the answer is no, yes, or not sure yet. Keep your salesperson in the loop on where things are at, and most importantly, respond in a timely manner when they follow up with you. It’s common courtesy.
And you might be thinking, “Jason, that’s just part of sales. People get busy.” Okay, I hear you. But if I’ve asked someone for a proposal, and they take their time and energy to meet with me, talk with me and get me a proposal, I feel like I owe it to them to be responsive, no matter how busy I am.
So what do you think? Do I have unrealistic expectations? Have your struggled with this too? Help make this a conversation by posting a reply on our blog or via email. And thank you for reading!