Alice Heiman, who trains sales teams, tells this story: “Someone I work with was talking to a friend about her client at a bar and the people from the company overheard. They walked up and said, ‘We heard you and we are telling our boss not to do business with you anymore.’”
Big sales fail.
It should go without saying that you shouldn’t speak poorly about your customers — ever. But if you do have a customer who gives you fodder to rant about them, consider why you’re working with them in the first place. If someone is a terrible fit for your product or even your particular personality, something needs to change. “You may need to have some serious conversations with them that may include your management,” Heiman says. “Make things right or part gracefully.”
If you don’t actually like a potential customer, perhaps you should walk away, Rowley advises. If that’s not the best option, then do whatever it takes to develop empathy so that the other person no longer gets under your skin.
If your emails to a customer are bouncing because they’ve changed their job, consider it an opportunity to follow your client into a new company. But that’s not the only opportunity from an email bounce, says Craig Elias, the sales consultant.
Your original client likely replaced someone. Find out where that person went and pitch him. That’s a total of new opportunities. Then, once your original client has been replaced at her old company, pitch to that person. That’s a third opportunity. Finally, find out that person’s old company, and pitch to her replacement. Voila — four new opportunities from a single bounced email.
When you make the call to these new prospects, don’t make the mistake of telling that person exactly what you do: such as “I sell really expensive tires.” “Use verbs to get the conversation going,” Elias says. Instead, try this “If I told you I could make you the preferred vendor in your industry, how much interest would you have?’”