Sometimes I am my own worst enemy.
Ten years ago I wrote a thesis for my Masters Degree in Strategic Communications. The hypothesis: If you make an emotional connection with clients you can increase the lifetime value of those relationships to your company.
I proved the premise and used it in my role as a consultant to help companies sell everything from private jets to expensive cups of coffee.
In 2007 I started my own consulting business and began using this same process to help people in professional services: Lawyers, Accountants, Real Estate Professionals etc.
My thinking in starting my own business: Help people who increase their quality of life as they increase their income. This is not only practical but it is noble. After 18 years of helping large companies make more money, helping a business owner is a refreshing change.
About a year ago a friend came to me and asked if I would develop a sales system for a luxury products company. She said there was a lot of money to be made in helping large luxury product/service providers with relationships with their clients.
My friend had an “in” with a well-known company that needed help right now.
I turn down the opportunity.
My friend protested. She asked me to reconsider.
I declined, even though I’m writing a book about selling to the affluent. I declined even though my methodology has been tested and proven more effective than anything else on the market today.
I saw my friend last week. They awarded the contract to someone who is using an outdated, one-size-fits-all sales methodology.
Want to know what they are paying this person?
Six million dollars.
Why did I refuse to take my friend up on this opportunity?
On some level I thought working with a big company (as I had in the ‘old days’) would be selling out. I told myself I would have to travel. I’d leave my family for days at a time. I’d have ungodly pressure to deliver. I would have to wait for accounts receivable to come in.
All of those things are excuses.
It was pride.
I didn’t want to say: “Thank you so much for thinking of me and for helping me become even more successful.”
Deep down, I wanted to push a rock up a hill, all by myself, and then turn around and say: “Look at what I have done.”
Pride is expensive. In this case, it cost me six million dollars.
And it won’t happen again.
I’m 47 years old and I just realized I am making the same mistakes I made when I was 17.
But I realized it and I’m correcting it.
You can learn from my foolishness (and it won’t cost you six-million dollars). Do not let your pride get in the way of your success.
Accept help when people offer it. It doesn’t make you any less successful. It makes you smart. It makes you money.
And it makes the person offering the assistance happy they could be of service.
Here are some additional resources you can use to boost sales:
Nobody wants to work with a jerk. This is how you deal with someone you can’t stand.
The first sale is always to you. If you don’t believe in your capability and your product/service, nobody else will believe in you.
If you know how your client thinks, feels and acts, you can help solve his problems. When you do that, you sell more.