I fired a customer today.
And by “I” I actually mean a gutsy account manager who is my new hero.
This isn’t the type of behavior you hear much about in sales – especially highly competitive technical sales.
You hear lots about organizations who fire a vendor, companies that fire their employees, and individuals that fire their lawyers. Not too much about resellers/partners firing a customer.
Especially at a “closing” meeting for the start of a thousand+ phone deployment.
What this account manager knows however, is that just because money is going in our direction for the transaction does NOT mean we are the one receiving more value or benefit in the transaction.
We charge for our services precisely because they provide value and are outside of a customer’s core business or competencies – exactly how I would hire an architect to design and plan a house. I don’t want to learn building code (best practices), fire prevention (security), space aesthetics (user interface) – I have a day job! I just need someone to bring their expertise and walk me through the process, get my decisions and input, and design a house for me.
We also guarantee success and eliminate risk as I outlined on a previous post.
Our customers are selected based on a mutual understanding of our value. The potential
customer that was fired right before signing up with us simply did not understand the mutual benefit of the relationship. I have several customers I’ve worked with for 8+ years who understand the benefit of a long-term relationship where money most often flows one direction, but value is absolutely expected (and delivered) in two directions.
Bonus tip for AM’s – if you want to win the adoration and support of your support and delivery teams – ensure you are SELECTING customers for your organization not because you are desperate for commissions but because there is a mutual understanding of the value both parties bring to the transaction and hopefully long-term relationship.
Do you have customers or vendors that don’t understand the critical need for continued and bi-directional value in a technical consulting relationship? Tell me – what level of value do you expect from your vendors/resellers/partners?