Your competitors thank you for being a half-baked sales person. They appreciate your lack of attention to detail when responding to RFPs or RFQs. They are grateful for your inconsistency in energy and effort devoted to everything from prospecting to client care.
Your competitors marvel that you (still) don’t understand the importance of researching trigger events and background information about your prospects and even your current customers. Oh, by the way, your competitors are targeting your current customers for their own acquisition – soon.
Your competitors are amazed that you show up and throw up features and benefits. Your motor-mouth is legendary, and not in a positive manner. You are so busy spieling that you don’t give anyone else time to speak. Your (lack of) listening habits are equally legendary.
Your competitors focus on making your current customers second-guess their decision to do business with you. How can you possibly be focusing on your customers when you feel the most intelligent and important person in the room is you?
Your competitors gleefully meet with your current customers and listen to the customers talk about themselves. Your competitors’ behavior underscores their dedication to customer priorities. Their message: we are in it for the long haul, so we are here to start serving the customer, now.
Your competitors have shown your current customers that they have an alternative to your style and your approach to selling. Your competitors continuously demonstrate their ability to create value for your current customers.
Your competitors forward relevant content and information to your customers even when there is no deal on the table. Your customers have come to regard your competitors as valuable resources for information on industry trends and innovative solutions.
You are beginning to look like a half-baked potato to your current customers. They consider your visits as less-than-necessary and certainly not valuable. Your product, service, platform is beginning to look like stale bread, too, instead of a shiny new penny.
You are noticing that it’s harder to get appointments, let alone phone time, with your current customers. Their time appears to be better spent doing something else. What that “something else” is, you don’t know – because you were too busy spieling about you to notice the important stuff about them.
You are gearing up for renewals and realize you haven’t had contact with that customer for the last six months. Well, it’s never mattered much in the past, so why does it matter so much now? What’s the difference between now and then?
Ask your competitors. Ask your customers. They’ll fill in your half-baked understanding of why you’ve just lost another customer. If you have the time to listen, that is.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, catalyzes revenue-producing business transition, startup growth and professional development.