About a month ago I had a meeting with someone who wanted my business. I always try to fit these meetings in about once a month. Sometimes it’s just one company who has contacted me, other times is multiple seemingly all at once. When that happens, I ask them to send me information and I’ll contact them when I have the time.
Well, I took this meeting because this salesman was working a a new company and I am always in the market to save money.
Here is where the wheels started to come off on this companies chances at getting my business.
First, not only did the salesman come, but his boss did as well. For me and my needs, that was a big no-no.
Second, the immediately opened up a big black booklet and started in one their presentation. They showed me a photo of their two buildings, a floor-plan of the facility, a photo of a team meeting and then work samples. Presentation over, then they asked me a little bit about my needs.
If you’re following my logic here, they’d pretty much already lost my interest. I personally don’t care about your floor-plan or your team meetings. I don’t. If it comes down to that, I’ll ask about it and I may even do a site visit. But do not sell me that.
Business deals are made in the first five minutes I believe. It’s just a friendship… you work on the relationship. You don’t go up to someone you don’t know but may want to be friends with and start in on how awesome your personal workouts are and the greatness of your house. If you did, you’d end up alone at the bar.
It’s about the relationship–period. These two guys didn’t seem to understand that. The meeting over, I put them in a list of people I’d add to our RFP list in the future. I always give second chances.
What happened next will go into the “Are you kidding me?” pile for the rest of my life. About two weeks after that initial meeting, I received an email from the salesperson of that meeting. It was a sales e-mail telling me how their process works once we select them and how their customer service is the best. Okay… great. But then he said he wanted to stop by my office for no more than five minutes just to put a face with a name. Wait… didn’t we just do that? Dude – we’d already met!
Needless to say, I didn’t reply and I took him off my RFP list.
As a businessperson, always be focusing on the relationship with your customers/clients. Remember the small things. And if you are trying to sell something, tell your story last, listen and ask about theirs first. You’ll be glad you did. Oh, and that works for friendships too!
(flickr photo via modofly)