Blair gets David to admit that he was kind of wrong about open book management being just a fad when he originally wrote about it almost two decades ago, and David offers ways that it can actually improve relationships with both employees and clients when used appropriately.
Blair and David analyze and then look beyond the requests for reassurance potential clients make during the late stage of a sale to address their underlying motivations.
David disagrees with Blair’s model for growing existing accounts in the post-AOR era and then offers his list of 6 ideas on the topic.
There’s that person in your life. The friend or family member you only see occasionally and briefly but when you do, you really connect. You leave every interaction with her with a sense of fondness or love that is wholly disproportionate to the amount of time invested in the relationship.
A little while after your conversations, while still basking in the glow of this special relationship, you realize that you learned almost nothing new about her. You are slightly embarrassed to recall that you spent the entire conversation talking about you—not because that was your intent but because she lasered in on you, asked how you were, what you were up to. And the more you talked, the more interested she seemed to become. She made you feel that there was nowhere else she would rather be, nobody else she would rather be speaking to.
Now take that skill your friend has and transpose it into a business context. What do you have? You have what I believe is the most valuable skill in all of business. The business equivalent of what your friend or family member so effortlessly and beautifully does is called the value conversation, and it is at the heart of value-based pricing and any form of respectful selling.
The goal of value-based pricing is not to charge more—that’s merely a beneficial consequence. The goal of value-based pricing is to create an organization that is intently focused on creating extraordinary customer value. That means developing in your frontline people that same skill that your friend has: the ability to have a conversation with a client and have the entire focus of the conversation be on her. What does she want? What is valuable to her? What is she willing to pay for?
At no point in your conversation with your friend did she interject her stories to mesh with, build on, or refute yours. She didn’t bend the conversation to a topic that’s been on her mind. She didn’t try to communicate anything to you, other than the message that in that moment, you were the only thing that mattered.
What does it mean to do new business in your firm? How close or far are you from the ideal that your friend represents?
David and Blair compare each other’s competitiveness and then offer some specific ways principals can actually collaborate with their competitors as a part of building beneficial business relationships.
To understand selling is to understand that in the pursuit of profitable new clients you have no business trying to convince anyone of anything, ever. To the question, if my job is not to convince, what then, I respond: It is to help the unaware, to inspire the interested and to reassure the intent. This Win Without Pitching model of selling ideas and
It is often stated that all buying is emotional. While this is an oversimplification that gets many salespeople into trouble, emotions do play a role in most significant purchases. Knowing how and when emotions come into play allows the seller to employ the emotional tools of inspiration to his advantage. But seller beware: emotions are like gravity; what goes up, always comes down.