Coping with Business Setbacks
The email came. It read halt all your activities. It was a blow. I had spent quite a bit of time helping a customer. The only problem was that he was working with a competitor of mine.
I knew from the beginning that it was kind of a long-shot to turn him into a paying customer, but I was willing to go out on a limb because it was an attractive bit of business to be had.
The business processes typically always the same. You might’ve heard the saying that the money is in the relationship. The very first thing that has to happen in order to build a company or business relationship is that you have to connect with each other as human beings.
No matter how much we like it, humans need a certain level of trust before they will actually handover their money.
Of course that is to be expected. You and I are most likely the same. Each person has a certain level of trust. I call it the trust threshold. Most sales people talk about having to have seven interactions before the customer or potential customer for that matter trust them to any degree.
I have even heard the statistic that suggests it is a little higher: 7 to 10 interactions. Now, the way the interactions transpire is really not that important. It can be in any form, well almost.
Here are some of the most common forms of potential customer interactions:
- A phone call
- Any email
- A thank you card
- A text message
- A personal visit
- A Facebook message
Obviously some of these don’t really come into play into much later in the process.
The point is, it’s a brush. It’s a touch. It’s some level of interaction. I’ve heard that car salesman do this all the time. Obviously they have the customer in the room and so there is really no way to have 7 to 10 different interactions with the customer. One of the things that they do commonly that I have read in books is they excuse themselves from the customers to go talk to the manager or make a quick phone call, or ask someone a question and then return.
The concept behind this is that every time they leave the customers presence and return it creates a new interaction. It creates a new brush or touch if you will.
So, overtime this is how they gain the potential customers trust.
Just as a side, car dealerships also use the common enemy theme. Do you know where that is? I basically refer to this this way because it is when the manager tells the customer know or tells them that they can’t get a specific price.
The salesman then begins to complain about how hard it is to work for this particular manager and vilifies the manager until the customer believes that it is the salesman in them together against the manager.
If the manager is the enemy than that must mean that we are both allies. This also raises the trust level.
Circling back to the beginning of this article in which I talk about the fact that I am possibly going to lose a customer that I’ve invested some time in and need to deal with it. Back to the story: with this particular customer I was most likely 10 to 12 interactions in.
Suddenly I get the email to halt my activities and I begin to assign meaning to it.
Either, I am not a worthy vendor or he is legitimately waiting to assigned me to some other task.
So now I have a choice. Thanks to Grant Cardone who taught me to press through and do way more than expected. Which voice in my head and my going to believe. Is it the one of failure that says I didn’t do a good enough job or didn’t build a good enough relationship or this customer thinks my skills aren’t as good as my nearest competitor?
Or, am I going to believe that this is just a bump in the road? I can really believe both of these singly with wholeheartedness.
So I am making a conscious decision to take on the latter. I am simply going to do as he requested and stay in touch. Who knows. Maybe in a few more interactions, he will feel comfortable with me doing more work for him.
Whether it takes three days three months or three years. The one thing I know is that I will still be in business knock on wood and will hopefully be there to catch him when my competitor does him wrong.
Thank you to the Tree Service for sponsoring this post.