Sales Tips Learnt Firsthand: Wrong Person
The third story in our ‘Sales Tips Learnt Firsthand’ series reveals how one of our salespeople was disappointed to find that the person he’d travelled 3,000 miles to meet had cancelled – only to be offered an opportunity with someone who proved far more valuable to the sale.
This cancellation happened to me when I was trying to close a deal with a large international organisation based in the states. I had a meeting arranged with a Sales Director, but he had to cancel at the last minute. I was obviously not amused – I’d travelled a long way to get there – and was debating what to do when I was introduced to the boss of the person who’d cancelled on me. She apologised profusely and said I should present to her and anyone else in the office that day who would see the value.
As she was leading me to the room where I was to deliver the presentation, we bumped into the SVP of Business Development, who expressed interest and thus decided to join us. We’d never spoken before so the conversation we had ended up being completely different to the one I’d expected to be having – meaning that I had to be extremely flexible!
By the end of the day I’d walked away with a huge deal including training for the entire division, as well as a STAT which we helped them win three months later. Since then we have delivered over 30 STATs for this client with a win rate of over 80%, and a have a 1 million dollar contract with them!
So looking back on that day when I’d arrived jetlagged at their US office to be told that my meeting had been cancelled… I think it was for the best!
Keep your options open if you lose a contact or have to meet with someone else, and make sure you’re ready to adapt to different scenarios. The right person to speak to isn’t always the person you think it is!
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Douglas Ritchie, Business Development Director, Serco
The presentation was a resounding success, enabling us to engage with the audience, demonstrate our understanding of the brief, effectively communicate our value proposition – and ultimately, win the business.