Win Without Pitching®: Thinking

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The Flip is the moment in the sales cycle when a prospect who previously had you boxed into the vendor position in the relationship now sees you as the expert practitioner. In tandem, he moves from the customer who is always right to the patient who has a problem, needs your help and allows you to lead.

If your prospect has been exposed to your thought leadership, strong point of view or powerful reputation before the first conversation then The Flip may have already happened without you there to witness it. This is the ideal scenario.

When the first interaction begins with you in the vendor position however, The Flip is a mandatory requirement for proceeding into a paid engagement. It must happen for the engagement to mean anything beyond a financial transaction. It must happen for you to do your best work. Therefore it must happen. No Flip means no sales advantage and a low probability of an engagement in which you do your best work.

While The Flip is the act of gaining power or control of the engagements, it is not total control you are after – just enough acknowledgement that your perspective is at least as valuable as the client’s and that you will do better work if you are allowed to lead. The sooner The Flip happens, the easier the sale. It almost never happens after the sale. If you close from the vendor position then you are the vendor. Sharpen your pencil and wait for your orders. Smile like you mean it.

If you already occupy the practitioner position, keep your judo to yourself. To exert your influence needlessly is but a vain show of strength that will come back to bite you.

The Flip requires that the client sees you as capable of leading and worthy of the responsibility. Be worthy. Start flipping. And no power tripping.

Blair Enns
Blair Enns is the Win Without Pitching founder and CEO and the author of The Win Without Pitching Manifesto and Pricing Creativity: A guide to Profit Beyond the Billable Hour.
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