How to Build Valuable Relationships With Your Clients
Written by Dave Lorenzo on July 11, 2016 / Podcasts / Relationships
How to Build Valuable Relationships With Your Clients
Welcome to the 60 Second Sales Show.
I am Dave Lorenzo, your host. I’m the guy who helps you make a great living and live a great life. Today we’re here to help you create deep, lifelong relationships with your clients, in 60 seconds or less.
Increasing sales requires you to create a sense of urgency among your clients. Creating a sense of urgency is not something that comes naturally.
I want you, now, to picture a big fat guy sitting on a couch at home in the middle of a snowstorm. He’s sitting there eating a bag of potato chips. He’s got them and he’s throwing them into his mouth, one after the other. Your job is to get that big fat guy off the couch, get him to run out the door into the snowstorm to buy the product that you’re selling. We’re going to show you how to do that right now, here, today, on the 60 Second Sales Show. The best way you can do that is to motivate the person to act in his or her own self-interests.
Way back when, about ten years ago, when I was a partner at The Gallup Organization, my boss came to me. The CEO of the company walks into my office and he sits down in the chair and he says, “Dave, listen. I have something I want you to do and it’s something that’s really personal to me”. I sat up, I leaned forward, and I was listening intently as he described to me a situation in which his brother in law, his ex brother in law, the guy who had just divorced his sister, had stolen one of his most prized accounts. The account was Ann Taylor stores. It was a clothing retailer. He described to me the pain he felt when his brother in law not only humiliated his sister by divorcing her, but also stole his account. He said to me, “I need you to do me this favor. I need you to drop what you’re doing and go after this account as hard as you possibly can. I want you to land this account and if you do it in the next 60 days, I’m going to give you a $50,000 bonus”.
You know and I know that money is a huge motivator for successful sales people, so I sat up in my chair and I said, “Boss, you can count on me. I’m on the case”.
Keep in mind that this is a business, this is an industry, big ticket consulting, business to business consulting, which normally requires an 18-month to 2-year sales cycle. The minimum size account we would even bother to look at as a consulting organization is $1,000,000 in revenue to us on an annual basis. I just promised my boss I was going to do this in 60 days.
I looked around the room, just me there, and I said to myself, “How am I going to make this happen?” I went into my contacts file and I looked for people who had been to my speaking engagements in the past. I noticed there was one person from this company, one person from Ann Taylor stores, who had been to a speaking engagement in the past. I picked up the phone and I reached out her and I said, “I noticed you had come to see me speak. I’m wondering what resonated with you from that presentation”.
She gave me a clue, she gave me an insight, as to how I could potentially help her.
She said to me, “What really resonated with me is that you talked about how diversity in our management team could increase sales in our organization. This is something we desperately need”.
I said to her, “Wow”. Her name was Allison. I said, “Allison, what’s preventing you from making this happen?” She said, “I can’t make the case. I can’t make the case internally to my boss. I can’t make the case to the CEO. The case is just too difficult”. I said, at that point, “Allison, would you like some help with that?” She paused and she said, “Of course. I would love some help with that. What could you do to help me?”
At that point, we were off to the races. I knew I had her. I knew I had created an opportunity, but I didn’t know whether or not we had a sense of urgency developed. I met with her and we developed a plan to help them come up with a way to increase the diversity in their management team. We worked on this plan for about a week and a half. I helped her with the presentation. She rehearsed it over and over again. Within three weeks, she was ready to present it to the CEO. At that point, we did our final run through. I shook her hand and I said, “Allison, you’re ready to go”, and she got cold feet.
She got cold feet because she had never been on this size stage before. The appointment with the CEO was set, she was sure that she had a way to increase diversity in the company, but she didn’t know if she had the guts to go through with it.
I said to her, “Allison, you are the most qualified person in this company right now to deliver this message. The CEO needs this message, the company needs this message. You’re going to help them, and what I’m going to do is I’m going to be in the room as your statistician. If you ever fumble or stumble look for a stat, I’ll be right there behind you, but the moment is now because the CEO is ready to hear what you have to say”.
That’s all I had to say to her to create that level of urgency. She was hungry and she was aggressive and I had appealed to her self-interests.
The story ends very happily for both Allison and myself. She did the presentation. She delivered it like a pro. She was a total champ. We got the deal four weeks into my boss issuing the challenge to me. Not only was I able to help her in her company, but also I was able to help myself. I was able to put an additional bonus in my pocket as a result of creating urgency. I reduced an 18-month sales cycle to just 4 weeks and I knew I didn’t need to wait 18 months ever again. Four weeks wasn’t realistic for a sales cycle, but 18 months certainly seemed like an eternity when I was just able to close this big deal in 4 weeks. I created that urgency by focusing on her self-interests and showing her how she could achieve a goal immediately. That’s how I created urgency within her and that’s how you can do it with your clients too.
Let’s focus on how we can create urgency in your business so that you can close more deals quickly. I’m going to tell you right now that some people are out there giving you bad advice. That’s right. Some people will teach you to wait, they’ll teach you to position yourself so that you are aloof and above it all and that creates a sense of awe and it builds your brand. I think that is a bunch of hogwash. You don’t need to wait ever. Selling is about helping people. You’re providing them with a solution to a problem. If you were a doctor and you delayed treating a patient, the patient would die. You can’t do that in life and you can’t do that in sales.
I know what you’re thinking.
You’re thinking that if you take a week or a month or two months to perfect your pitch to the client, you will nail it, you’ll get it spot on. You’re focusing on perfection and perfection is the enemy of progress.
Do not wait.
I know it’s scary. I know you’re thinking that you’re not going to be ready. If you move quickly and you create a sense of urgency in your client and you do it immediately, you can always change and grow and develop on the fly. Waiting never works. Here’s the truth. When striving for progress, we’re not striving for perfection. If you make the pitch and it’s not perfect, you still have time to make it right before your competitor comes in and tries to steal the deal from you.
The reality is a client who has a need, a client who has a problem, a client who has something that you can help them with, needs you now. If you fail to take care of him or her right now, there’s somebody behind you, just look over your shoulder, there’s somebody right there waiting to jump in and steal the deal from you. To increase sales, you must, must, must create a sense of urgency. Here are the tips how.
Part of me kind of blocks out this story, but I’m going to tell it to you.
I have a confession.
I was at an event and a lawyer, I was doing a presentation to lawyers, came up to me. He said, “Hey Dave. I love what you said, I’ve been to a bunch of your events, and I’m ready to do business with you. Send me a proposal”. I backed him off. I said, “Listen. I have a process in place. Let’s do this. Let’s make sure that you and I are a good fit. Why don’t you call my office, we’ll set up an interview, and I’ll see if you’re a good fit for me, you’ll see if I’m a good fit for you, we’ll see if it makes sense”. He said, “No, no, no. I know you’re a good fit. Send me a proposal. I want to start work with you right away”.
The guy had the sense of urgency and I backed him off and you know what happened?
My competitor stole the deal.
He’s now working with the competitor that I absolutely cannot stand. He’s working with the competitor that I hate the most. Hate’s a strong word, but my competition is my competition. They’re trying to take food out of my mouth. I’m going after them and he’s now working with them.
My lack of responding to his sense of urgency hurt me. Here’s what you’re going to do. You’re going to avoid this by always erring on the side of action. You always err on the side of action. What you don’t do today will haunt you forever. Keep that in the back of your mind. If you have the choice to take action on a client need right now or to delay action, you always take action because you will regret the actions you don’t take. You’ll never regret taking action too aggressively and screwing something up.
Here are a couple of steps you can take right now.
Suppose you have a sales goal of selling $1,000 in sales each and every single week. That means that you must sell $200 worth of your product or service every single day and that’s how you break it down. Every single day you must sell $200 worth of your product or service. You’re going to focus on closing $200 worth of sales deals first thing in the morning each and every single day. If for some reason you get off track and you don’t close that $200 the first day, you know the second day you have to close $400 worth of sales. This creates the urgency in you. You’ve broken down your annual goal into a monthly goal. You’ve broken down your monthly goal into a weekly goal and your weekly goal into a daily goal. You’re going to focus on zeroing in on taking action each and every single day that will get you closer to your annual goal. You’re going to break it down into bite size pieces.
The second thing I want you to think about is you must build momentum.
Every day you must sell something. In the example I gave you above, you have $1,000 a week that you have to sell. If you blow it out and you sell $2,000 on a Monday, what you still need to do is you still need to sell something every day to create that momentum, to keep that momentum going. Regardless of whether you’re having a good day or a bad day, you need to close at least one deal. When you get up in the morning and you have a conversation with your spouse, with your significant other, you have a conversation with your kids, you’re selling, you’re selling right out of the gate. You’re convincing them to take their lunch to school. You’re convincing them to eat a good breakfast. You’re convincing them that when you come home, you’re going to watch a certain movie or you’re going to watch a certain TV show. You sell every day of your life. When you get to work, sell something.
By the end of the day, you have to have sold something, anything. In my business, I have a gateway product. That’s a simple product that I can sell to just about anybody, anytime. I have a book that I offer to people for $29. If I haven’t sold anything and I look at the clock and it’s 4:30, 5:00, I simply get on the phone and I offer people the book for $29. I don’t leave my office without that momentum, without having sold something every day. That’s how you increase the urgency in your life and that will translate to the urgency that your client feels when he or she works with you.
The final tip I’ll give you today is that you should get an accountability partner.
Get an accountability partner that agrees to have a conversation with you once a week. This will prevent you from being lazy. I’m not talking about a boss who breathes down your neck and wants to review your sales reports. We all know those sales reports are a pain in the neck and that activity is not something that is going to be helpful to you in creating the momentum you need to get the job done. I’m talking about an accountability partner with whom you can sit and have a conversation and you can say to one another, “What did you do this week that’s going to lead to a big deal? Did you sell something on Monday? Did you sell something on Tuesday? Did you sell something on Wednesday? Tell me how you felt during that process”.
Sales is all about confidence and urgency is a byproduct of your confidence. When you talk to your accountability partner, you discuss with him or her how you’re feeling and the confidence that you have in getting the deals closed as quickly as possible. This conversation is valuable. Start with your goals, start with whether you’ve achieved your goals, how close you came, and what happened. Why did you do so well? What happened to keep you from where you were? Talk about how you felt. Talk about your confidence. Have the conversation with your accountability partner so that you pump your confidence back up and you create the urgency.
We’re at the portion of our show that we call the Mailbag Segment. In the mailbag today, we’re reaching in and pulling out a question from Alex. He works for Schlumberger, one of my favorite names. Schlumberger is a company that has oil rig products, they sell oil rig products. John writes, “Dear Dave, I sell parts for oil rigs and they make decisions in annual cycles at the shortest. What can I do to create a sense of urgency in my business? They are not going to buy from me for at least 12 months. Thanks in advance for answering my question”. He signs his name.
Let me tell you, this is one of the biggest questions I get in business-to-business sales, and I’ll tell you the answer is this. You need to get in there and you need to help them understand what’s happening in the future and you need to have them project the future to today. What do I mean by that? You sit down with them and you say, “Mr. Smith, let’s look at your decision making process right now so that I can understand where we are”. They’ll lay out their decision making process for you. What I want you to do at that point is I want you to be the guy who educates them on the latest and greatest technology in the oil drilling industry. I want them to become addicted on your educational information. What you’re doing is you’re selling them on you as an expert, that way they will come to you whenever they’re ready to make a decision.
The second thing I want you to do is I want you to be the go to guy when something breaks at the last minute and they need something right now. I want you to tell them, “No matter what time, day or night, if you need anything, even if you think it’s something we don’t make, I want you to call me. I’m the guy who gets the job done”. You’re doing two things. You’re telling him, number one, “I’m the guy who educates you”, and you’re going to coach and help mentor him on the technology that you have that’s better than everybody else. The second thing you’re going to do is you’re going to be the Johnny on the spot. You’re going to be the guy who can create magic when something breaks or when they need it.
That’s how you work with a long sales cycle. Number one, you educate them so that you’re the default person they come to when they’re creating their specs to buy their products. Number two, you tell them you’re the guy they come to when something breaks so that they know that you’re the guy who can make things happen quickly. That’s how you create urgency when it comes to a long sales cycle and that’s how you create urgency in an industry that takes months or years to close the deal.
My friends, I am Dave Lorenzo and you’ve been listening to the 60 Second Sales Show. I thank you for being with me today. Remember, to increase sales you must create a sense of urgency. You deserve to make a great living and live a great life. I will see you next time right here at the 60 Second Sales Show.