It’s rare when I decide to write from the other side of the buying cycle but I had an experience recently that reminded me to be cautious of the sales quicksand that is… the friend zone.
Like most businesses, we purchase services & technologies just like everybody else. Because of what we do I am very fortunate to have built up a large, vetted network of top providers to choose from when the need arises.
We had a need, chose a provider (in my opinion we picked the best in the business) & kicked off. They did NOT disappoint.
In the beginning, we were led through several process meetings, follow up calls, heck even crystal clear reports to confirm every detail was documented - were enamored by their attentive approach.
Then came the actual buying experience, it was equally impressive. Team specialists would go out of their way every time we would arrive, acknowledging where we were at in the process & expressing true sincerity that this project was one of their favorites to work on.
The delivery of the finished product? HOLY SMOKES. More beautiful than we could have ever imagined. So where’s the left turn in this story?
Right here. Throughout the experience we’d rib each other, chat like high schoolers on the phone, heck even go late night dreaming at a nearby establishment . I can’t recall a time where I couldn’t slack, call or email a teammate without first getting shit for being overly excited, followed by an immediate resolve. The closer we got however, lines blurred. We were having so much fun I wasn’t asking the questions I should have been & they just assumed I knew the answers.
How did this happen?
Because somewhere along the way our friendship diluted our professional commitment to one another. Both sides are guilty, but only one is paying for the experience – us. We, the client became the buddy & thus admittingly so received delivery like one when it mattered most, the implementation. I didn’t want to look silly so I didn’t ask “where do we go now?”; 9 months ago I would have had no problem asking this very same question. To this day, I love this partner & we have addressed this but from this experience, this is what I’ve learned ::
-Never assume the other side of the sale knows what you do. Make it painstakingly simple for them to know where things are at.
-Visualize the close before it’s sold & present documented steps of how the delivery is going to go clearly with your client.
-Consistently check in. Though you the sales pro may not be delivering the solution, you are responsible for guiding the experience.
-Be aware of every sales step that is not provided by you. Check in after & make sure the experience is what you promised.
- Be proactive & involved. The customer may not always be right but you don’t get paid until after the deal is executed, never forget.
We hope this article was helpful, please feel free to reach out to us for any revenue growth needs you may have. Till next time, happy selling!