How often do you let your clients off the hook?
Here’s an example of what I mean from the field of sales consulting…
This is what a nicey-nicey sales performance conversation sounds like …
“So let me check that I understood what happened correctly … You secured the meeting with that senior executive you’ve been nurturing for months?
Well done you. Great work.
And you didn’t manage to find time to prepare and rehearse it because you were busy with client delivery work?
Well it’s tough and I know you’re busy right now. You’re doing your best.
And you presented your credential deck and talked about all your achievements, asked the executive the usual questions, is that right?
Well that’s good.
And they still didn’t agree to a follow up meeting …
Well, I guess that must be disappointing … but take heart there’s plenty of other fish in the sea.
You did good work … and some executives really just don’t get it.
Perhaps we should work some more on your ideal client persona.”
Nicey coaching. It’s encouraging but useless!
Now here’s a different type of conversation.
Candid coaching from a mentor who cares about performance improvement.”
“You didn’t rehearse the meeting!!!!
WTF man … are you serious about winning bigger projects, or what?
We need to talk about sales professionalism as a priority. It can’t be left as the poor cousin of delivery if you want to grow.
Are you up for that?”
Now, as a client which style would you prefer? Or perhaps something different?
Backtack through some client conversations. Notice when and why you avoided making the challenges you needed to make. How often do you let clients off the hook?