Mistake 7 – Thinking there is a Finishing Line!
Quite often I have seen long drawn out sales processes where finally the client commits to a pilot study or trial. This requires a bit of wiring in your kit to their kit (literally or metaphorically). So you send some junior guy along (got to keep an eye on the margins eh?). And the big boys celebrate at HQ. Junior guy, highly motivated does his job. Which he sees as making the kit work.
Dzzzzt. Error by senior guys and junior guy.
The computers are never your clients – the people always are! Business is building relationships with people – from top to bottom in your company by anyone who ever sees a client.
The ball is absolutely not “over the line” when you have “made a sale” (especially the tiny beachhead sale). Nor is it over when you make the bigger sale.
It’s a relationship dudes. You never stop building relationships. People (and companies are just people in a certain arrangement/culture) do business with people they know, like and trust.
When you get married the relationship isn’t over, it isn’t sorted (sadly lol). Same with making the sale. It is soooo hard getting a new client, soooo much business comes from existing clients that the beating heart of your company must be “client service” (unless you are purely transactional).
When you make that landing you need the best folk in there – at the technical AND people level. You need to start “winning friends and influencing people”. You need coffees, beers, lunches. If you like “making the sale” is a bit like an engagement – it’s a long way to go from there to your kids’ graduation days.
Last – and by no means least – the client is the start of the next BizDev cycle – find new problems you can solve, create new products and go round again.
I hope these 7 mistakes and 7 solutions have been helpful for you. Let me know what you think! How many of them apply to you?