Be Multi-Threaded Part 1
In order to create meaningful customer relationships that will enable you to migrate away from transactional selling, you must build relationships with multiple people in your customer’s organization.
Betting your success on a single contact in the customer’s organization is extremely dangerous. Too often, a salesperson depends on one person or entity for communication and coordination with the customer. For example, does a salesperson saying the following, raise a sales manager’s confidence level?
“My contact told me that we are in good shape and currently in the lead against the other vendors”… “My contact doesn’t think we need to come in for a face-to-face meeting. We can just do this over the phone.”
To be successful at building the type of relationships you need to create long-term associations with customers, connections in your customer organization must be “multi-threaded.” In other words, you must have multiple contacts that can be cultivated so they can advance into your internal champions or advocates.
The minute you leave a customer meeting, end a web conference, or even a phone call, the dynamics of the relationship change, so it’s important to build relationships outside the chain of command. The following story amplifies why this is so important.
Don walked out of a customer meeting that he and his team believed had been outstanding. Their proposed solution nailed every one of the customer’s hot-button requirements. The customer response was glowing and appeared to position Don’s solution as the clear leader. His selling team proposed an action plan containing a series of remaining steps with an expected purchase date within the current quarter. The customer’s tone during this discussion was more of “when we select your solution,” not “if we do.” The steps were agreed upon verbally by the customer. Don’s selling team even shared high-fives out in the company parking lot afterwards. They reported an excellent meeting result to their management. It was a great day . . . or so they thought.
I’m DJ Sebastian, and we’ll continue this story in the next briefing.