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The Competitive Advantage

tag: Relationships

November 29, 2023

Giving Client Gifts This Holiday Season? Why Not All Year Round?

It’s that time of year again, when the vast majority of businesses send out some sort of gifts to their clients as a holiday “thank you” for their business during the past year. It’s often a basket of fruit, a bottle of wine, a Starbucks gift card or maybe something ‘kitschy’ from the vendor’s home town. And I support that… I think sending out gifts for the holidays is a very nice gesture.

The problem is, for most companies, the gift giving stops there. Why?! Why would you not want to say “thank you” to your clients all year round?

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July 25, 2023

Is ‘In-Person’ Still Relevant?

As I write this, I’m 35,000 feet over Pennsylvania, on my way home from the Quirks New York event… two days of networking, learning, selling and bonding for 1,500+ MR professionals. Well done, Team Quirks! And it’s because of that event that I’m writing this article. So, to answer the question in the headline – Is ‘In-Person’ Still Relevant? – consider this:

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January 31, 2023

Get on a Plane… Go to a Conference

As I write this, I’m 30,000 feet in the air heading home to Nashville from Miami, where I participated in my first conference of the year – the Insights Association’s CEO Summit. It’s just my third conference in the past 12 months, along with Greenbook’s IIeX event last Spring in Austin and the Quirks Event in New York this past Summer.

And the result of attending all of these conferences? Exactly the same… and I mean that in a good way:

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August 2, 2022

Stop Being Complacent… and Build ‘Other’ Relationships

Last year, I wrote a blog post entitled, ‘The number one reason why you lose clients? Arrogance!’ It was one of the most read posts in all of 2021. Today I want to write about reason #1A – and the one I hear about more than any other reason for the loss of clients – complacency! And the story (err… excuse!) goes something like this… “We had a great relationship with [insert Fortune 500 company name here]… and they were a great client for several years… but then our main contact left and we lost the business.”

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February 9, 2022

A Great Experience with a Used Car Salesman… A Lesson for ALL Salespeople

‘Great experience’ and ‘used car salesman’ are generally not two phrases you see together, but in this case, it’s true… and the story provides some valuable lessons for all salespeople and seller-doers.

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February 16, 2021

The #1 Reason Why You Lose Clients? Arrogance!

Sure, there are a lot of reasons why you lose clients… you messed up a project or a competitor dramatically under cut your prices or your key contact left the company. But the #1 reason why you lose clients is ‘arrogance.’

You assume that your good work is enough to solidify your relationship with the buyer. It isn’t.

You assume that your good work will keep you top-of-mind with clients. It won’t.

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September 30, 2020

Stop Selling… Start Helping!

I generally empty my spam folder every day, but for some reason, I had skipped a few days… and had a mountain of emails to be deleted.

As I was looking through them and getting ready to hit the ‘delete’ button, I noticed a consistent theme across all of them. Other than a couple of “I’m a barrister in Dubai I need your help to claim $20 million,” every single one of them was a hard sales pitch: SEO services, website design, app creation and so on and so on. And most from companies I had never heard of.

Even though this was my spam folder, I think there’s still a lesson here… if you want someone to take notice of you – in an email, over the phone or in person – stop selling and start helping. Or as one of my clients likes to say, “bring value to the relationship.”

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August 25, 2020

How to Build Trust with Buyers

One of the guiding principles of B2B sales is that ‘a buyer won’t buy from you until they get to know you… then like you… then trust you.” It can’t and it won’t happen any other way.

And of those, ‘trust’ is the most difficult to achieve. But ‘trust’ isn’t just about you. Your firm (and its staff and its services & products) also has to be trusted by the buyer. So, how can you help a buyer reach that level of trust in you and your firm?

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