Let’s examine five opportunities for improvement that you can experience that could challenge a deal with a client:
- Not meeting the client’s expectations:
- Why? Did you not do your homework or do a thorough discovery process?
- Did you not include the proper individuals or departments?
- Mishandling a client crisis:
- If you need a subject matter expert to compliment you—get one!
- Again—preparation is key!
- Taking on more than you can handle:
- Make sure you bring the resources with you that you need, and identify gaps and fill them with the right mix of expertise for you to be successful.
- Make sure you are always ready to “Go big or go home.” Make sure you have the financial resources on hand for elasticity in a deal—there are always other options for your client to move on to a more accommodating provider. If you can’t say yes, someone else will.
- Putting all your eggs in one basket:
- Keep taking the temperature for ALL of your clients—they all add up to your bottom line, and provide you valuable referral opportunities.
- Look for value-add opportunities with your large clients that doesn’t necessarily take up additional calendar time or cost.
- Up cash creek without a paddle:
- A large client can max out small company resources pretty quickly. Make sure you evaluate possible outcomes and how gaining that client can stress your company’s capabilities.
- Many times, it takes money to make money—be prepared for growth and accommodating these types of clients.
Any one or combination of these can not only kill the partnership, but have the ability to take down your company as well. We’re going to take a bit of time to talk about each one of these, in this lesson we’ll cover the first two.
Not Meeting Client’s Expectations
It’s essential that you give your client’s exactly what you promised during the negotiation portion of your relationship. If an unexpected event does happen where there is no way to meet the client’s expectations, not only do you have to find a way to fix the situation, but you also have to find out where it all went wrong.
At the very least, a couple of things could have contributed to this problem:
- Bad salesmanship– This could mean the salesperson was trying too hard to seal the deal and didn’t listen to the client’s needs.
- Lack of communication– This breakdown occurs between the salesperson and your operations department with the actual deliverables.
In order to avoid these mistakes, you need to put a clear plan of action into place that all of your sales staff needs to follow:
- Think before you speak.
- Give yourself a break.
- Perfect your process.
- Pre-format over-deliverables.
- Stay hands-on throughout the entire process.
- Define success.
Mishandling a Client Crisis
A crisis will happen, but how you respond and mitigate them will define your company and your ongoing interactions with your clients. You need to respond quickly and effectively. This will help you gain even more trust and confidence from your client.
Some simple tips can help you deal with any client crisis:
- Take leadership responsibility no matter who is at fault.
- Act swiftly and effectively.
- Step in and take control of the situation, where applicable.
- Never point fingers or place blame. Grow together with your client!
- Stay in constant communication with your client.
- Stay calm throughout the situation.
- Keep your eye on the ball. Don’t move on from a situation until it is resolved.
Now, that you know the top two mistakes you can make to kill a deal, you’ll know better how to avoid making these mistakes in the first place and know how to put a plan of action into place in case of a crisis.
If you need help with any of this, try our GUIDED TOUR to get all the help you could ever need.