Is it possible to be transparent, sell relationship-ly and still lose to others who position themselves more cleverly. Yes.
I may have lost a bid to a competitor who initially was blackballed by the client because the client was uncomfortable with the competitor’s ethics (as told to me by the client). In my world, being uncomfortable with ethics means stay away. But my client needs sales and needs them today. And that can color everything.
I may have lost the bid because I made it too easy for the client to say maybe. From now on, when I know I’m the best choice, I’ll let the client know that too.
From now on I’ll ask for what I want. (Promise me, you will too.) No longer will I say “when the time is right for you, I’ll be honored to work with you” when I know the time is right, right now. No longer will I be reticent to speak my authentic truth. Never again will I “check in” or “touch base” (which even though I’m a baseball fan, I’ve never really understood anyway). Instead, here is what I’ll say (please copy!):
I’m wondering if you’ve had a chance to meet with your team (or whatever is appropriate here) to recommend the training we discussed. Please let me know how I can help you create the business case that shows then that this training will give them the tools they need to succeed in today’s economic climate/ separate themselves from the competition/sell more/drive revenue and generate profit.
I’l be more Ms. Nice Guy, blended with more truth. I’ll be more authentic and I’ll be more fearless.
My daddy always said, “What’s the worst that can happen?” If they say no at least you know where you stand and what steps to take. It’s much better than pretending that the answer isn’t pending.
What do you think?