Thomas stood up, cocked his head and shot his words squarely into the phone:
“You are making the wrong decision.”
His conviction, sincerity and passion — stunned the potential client.
Tom’s response was a reaction to a potential new client explaining they had agreed to go with one of Tom’s competitors. An intense 20-minute conversation ensued.
In Tom’s mind losing to this competitor was unacceptable. He passionately explained why the client was making the wrong decision by outlining key strengths in comparison, payback and return-on-investment, careful not to discredit the competitor and risk losing credibility.
The client appreciated his sincerity and candid feedback. A number of rapid fire follow-up calls, some seasoned negotiating and more ‘skin in’ the game. The next day the client sent through a signed contract. Job done! T-O-M. (Take off Market.)
For some of us, Tom’s efforts may sound like too much hard work. For me, his actions demonstrate an absolute commitment to not letting the customer go without a fight.
You need to let customers know how much you care, how much you want their business and why. And be willing to take a risk or two and be vulnerable.
Arrogance, ignorance, apathy, call it what you want, too many people are too quick to retreat. You have come too far to simply give up now. If you do retreat, in a way this validates the customer’s decision. This is a final chance to prove them wrong.
What do have you to lose? If you are staring defeat in the eyes, you may as well go down swinging. Don’t be scared to let the customer know you’re disappointed. And if it is genuinely true, explain exactly why they are making the wrong decision and how it could or will cost them in tangible terms.
Tom’s approach is brave. Sticking your hand in the fire to save a customer takes courage. It’s risky.
But in a world full of apathetic salespeople, this sets you apart as someone who is genuinely committed to fighting for your customers.