He was an account manager in the southeastern US. I was visiting to meet with some customers/prospects with another sales rep. As often happens, one of our scheduled meetings was cancelled at the last minute. So, we asked if anyone else had any meetings I could join (I was doing sales enablement/product evangelism at the time).
This account manager then proceeded to make a phone call and got us a great meeting with an important prospect and the 3 top decision makers for the next morning (the top 3 execs at a 500 person company). I’d never before seen anything like it before – 1 call, 12 hours notice, the right people, etc…
Being very curious, I asked him what his secret was. I was dumfounded by his answer (paraphrased here): “I build my relationships based on valuing my customers’ time. I only call them when I have something valuable to offer. And, when I first meet a new prospect/customer, I promise that I will never waste their time.”
When I probed more, I learned that he regularly checks in with customers, but he makes the conversations very quick and he always prepares – with some valuable information to share.
It sounds so simple, but think about your experiences on both sides of the selling relationship. It was very profound for me.
It’s not just useful for salespeople, but true in many other relationships. Why are meetings 30, 60 or 90 minutes? It isn’t because we always have 30, 60 or 90 minutes worth of value.
Perhaps the best way to build relationships is by showing respect. And, respect for someone’s time is perhaps as valuable as any other.
Wait! Before you go…
Choose how you want the latest innovation content delivered to you:
- Daily — RSS Feed — Email — Twitter — Facebook — Linkedin Today
- Weekly — Email Newsletter — Free Magazine — Linkedin Group
Geoff Nesnow‘s career began in IT where he learned about the power of technology to solve tough business problems. Leveraging that experience, Geoff’s career evolved to building and growing many different technology solutions. Today, Geoff is an experienced entrepreneur, and passionate coach, inventor and transformation catalyst, who likes building businesses across a wide spectrum of industries.