***This is a client guest post by Kristin Dennewill who started her career in international management consulting and has lived and worked on four continents. This background gives her a unique perspective which she brings to her clients at Denamico, the inbound marketing and COS web development agency she co-founded in Minneapolis, MN.***
We had an unexpected surprise today that made us feel really good. About six weeks ago, we decided to invest what we would consider 'not a small amount' of money in ourselves and our business by hiring Rick and Carole for sales coaching. During this time, they’ve given us some great insight into sales itself, as well as our personal preconceptions about sales. Today however, we had a real “result” from their coaching.
As a bit of background, one of our personal challenges has been in getting deals closed in a timely manner. We meet with our prospects many times before agreeing on what is the right solution for them. Once we all agree that we know what that solution should be, sometimes the client drags their feet in signing the agreement so we can move forward and start working together.
It’s frustrating for us for two reasons;
because we thought we had all agreed and were on the same page and
we don’t like to waste our time or our client’s budget with having to follow up on everything we ask them - we feel like if they already agreed, they should do their part in getting us what we need to get going.
How do you get the deal done, which the client wanted done, in a timely manner when the client isn’t getting the agreement back to you?
But the message that Rick and Carole keep banging on our head, is that it doesn’t matter what we think or what frustrates us. What matters is what the client thinks and wants.
So last week we had a big meeting with a client which resulted in them actually asking for more services from us than we had originally proposed. They were totally on board and excited about how inbound marketing was going to impact their business. We were excited, they were enthusiastic, it was great!
Until we sent them the agreement, and heard nothing back. We didn’t know what to do. Do we just wait? But that sends the message that there isn’t urgency in what we’re doing, which is not the case. Do we follow up and remind them that we can’t start until we have the agreement signed? We weren’t sure what to do.
Fortunately for us, we had a call with Rick and Carole that day. One other thing we’ve learned from them is that you can never ask too many questions. So per their advice, we emailed the client and said; "As we haven’t received the signed agreement from you, should we assume you’ve decided to move in another direction?” First thing the next morning, we received the signed agreement by email. Talk about results!