A Few Additional Thoughts on Executive Leadership

I’d like to start this post by thanking Russ Riendeau for his great stories and lessons, and for his contribution to our blog as our first guest blogger. We appreciate it, and hope he is not our last.

Now, here’s a few thoughts of mine on Russ’ lessons.

  1. Missionaries get paid well, at best, for a short period of time. If you and the client are not on a same page, no matter how much they pay you up front, it will most likely not be a beneficial relationship for either of you.
  2. Solid referrals are more profitable than weak prospecting. I say this only hours after meeting with a referral from Russ (who is hoping to need him in the next few months as things continue to grow) who also referred me to another client. Referrals that are well thought out and make sense are worth their weight in gold. Referrals for the sake of looking like you know people end up being a waste of three people’s time. I’ve had people call me who were going to a “leads group” and needed to make a referral so they asked me if I knew of anyone who might need a printer: BAD REFERRAL. The ones Russ gave me of companies who want to increase sales and take some of the initial relationship development work off of the plate of their salespeople: GOOD REFERRALS. Also, prospecting with a purpose is a great way to find new clients as well. Ask yourself, what do the people you work with all have in common besides the things you can search for on Reference USA? What makes you great and a great fit for them? Searching them out as well as telling your referral sources are very effective ways to build a great client base. Buying a list of people who are not in your target…probably not the best use of resources.
  3. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a doubter. This is the hardest thing for a salesperson to do. We talk to salespeople all the time and ask if they have done everything they could. Did they listen to the client’s needs? Are they just not the right fit? Do they just not get it? Is it time to simply walk away?
  4. Have good data and documents to shore up every statement you make. We spend most of our time telling prospects what we did for a similar company and asking questions about them, rather than telling them how great we are. They can find that out on their own. We are a much better resource if we understand their needs and show we have similar experience before trying to sell them something.
  5. It’s not the price. It’s their lack of perception of your value, and it’s your duty to point out the real costs they’ll incur if they don’t use your services.ABSOLUTELY! If they see how the solution will make them money, or save them money, they usually can find a way to buy it.
  6. It’s really fun and empowering to say NO to working with someone that you can feel will be a struggle. It boosts self-confidence and gives courage to believe in yourself and abilities. NO IT ISN’T…just kidding, I was testing the strategy…I feel more empowered already.
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