I happened to be chatting to a chap that had recently won a service contract. In neither a town nor sector renowned for its structure and process, the reason for his award appeared to be the pitching of his “Diamond Way”.
The man in question enjoyed the surname Diamond and used it to his branding advantage.
He was driven to this particular positioning by immense frustration with how his lacklustre competitor behaviour had made life difficult for him. Being tarred with the same useless brush made his selling an uphill battle.
Quotes he rattled off demonstrating the dissatisfaction felt throughout the client base of his industry included:
- suppliers playing all sorts of games
- wondering how on earth people stay in business
- they duck and dive you
- don’t answer their phone, messages or return calls
So he formulated his Diamond Way. He realised structure and process were the vital elements missing, so he created such.
He sought to provide confidence that specific activities would be done at specific times. Troubleshooting regimes were in place, accompanied by rosters to ensure checks are conducted daily, weekly, monthly or whenever for each individual item.
Of course, in solution selling much of the post-sale care will be ‘sold’ by the eventual client managers. In my experience, carting along to a prospect a techie that strangely enjoy the darkened walls of their pod-dwelling existence can be a real winner. Even if, and often because of the fact that, they unknowingly dish a little bit of dirt.
For Account Managers, this kind of approach works wonders. The number of times I’ve seen a project derailed because thought’s not been given to who takes responsibility for a mess up is frightening. In which case, what usually happens is the issue gets escalated all the way up to the top of your client, who then bounces it across to the top of your organisation, before it cascades down traumatically to you. Hugely overblown and possibly fatally. And all so unnecessary. Worse still, the original salesperson gets dragged in to clear up the mess. With devastating consequences for your new business activity and targets.