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With Xmas coming up, I thought I write a little story what sales is really about. That there is connection between sales, love and Xmas. Love, yes, don’t react: not something fluffy but something practical which I consider essential in sales.
I will show you.
What Skondras does, is supporting companies in making sales more simple, by introducing best-practices, blue prints, how sales should be done if you want to generate predictable turn-over. Yes, we understand that a healthy company grows and should make profit, but that should never ever be the goal: it should logical result of making it about people (client AND employees, including yourself) first. This is core in our sales philosophy and is the key in making sales simple. The best-practices and blue-prints based on what we see in our customers (all having their flaws) come second, just as our sales team experts than can execute it.
A beautiful Xmas like example I had a while ago, working with a client from Asia who aspired expanding into Europe. At that stage, we talked about if we could support them setting up a sales organization from scratch in Europe giving them a quick start in this market unknown to them. This quick start we call “Sales Outsourcing – land & expand”. Afterall, how can they know the market sentiment in Europe, know which competitors are active and what people to recruit (and what appropriate salary to pay) in this territory unknown to them?
As a part of our engaging process, I asked the CEO of the company to come over to do a “Sales Strategy Workshop”. This is a workshop where, after having a couple of online / telephone meetings, we do a deep dive into the client’s sales strategy, analyse it by plotting it on our best-practice model, and work out the plan for the first year together. All of the above being very important, more fundamental is that we meet the client face-to-face and start building a relationship. For such an important decision, to choose somebody to outsource your sales operation to, is built on trust. For this it is essential to meet each other face-to-face, and have eye contact. Eye contact is necessary for trust, science has proven, and online, unless you are not working with very advanced telepresence equipment, this just cannot be done.
So we had this workshop, which I ran with an experienced colleague at Schiphol Airport, and ran through all the business items in one compact morning. But more importantly, we developed a relationship, first focusing on connecting with client, making it about the relationship first, then the business topics. Also not focusing on an outcome – yes we could think of one – enjoying the process.
The big result of the workshop was not an agreement, or even the client saying yes to a next step. It was that at the end, when leaving, the CEO said to us “I feel there is more love between us”.
I consider this as one the most beautiful moments in work in 2019.
And is this not what sales should be about? Building relations with clients, people first? Seeing, listening, really hearing who they are? And by that understanding and tuning in on what they want? You could say it is the building of love first. And yes, sometimes clients can feel that and express that. An exquisite moment.
What about the deal? That is about trust and letting go. Trusting that making that deal will be a logical result that flows from that love-filled relationship.
And it did, a couple of weeks later.