The devil is never a maker,
The less that you give, you’re a taker.
— Ronnie James Dio, Black Sabbath, Heaven and Hell
My friend Mike asked where he could find this post on my site. I hadn’t yet written it, even though the idea exists in a bunch of posts here.
Your Intentions Matter
Your intentions matter. Continually banging away at your dream client asking for an appointment to pitch them is all about you. You want an appointment. You want to do a needs analysis to help them discover the gaps in their performance. You want a chance to compete for their business. That’s all well and good (and necessary), but what’s in it for your dream client?
By creating value for your client by providing them with ideas, insight, and value in front of an opportunity, you establish that your intention is to create value for them–not just claim value for yourself. You also do this by creating value through the sales process.
Your intentions betray you, for good or for ill.
You Become Known
When you create value in front of an opportunity, sharing value-creating ideas with your dream client, you become known. You have no idea when an opportunity it going to present itself or when your dream client is going to become dissatisfied enough to take action. At that point, you are either known, or you are not.
You are not a secret agent. You need to be visible, accessible, and well known long before there is ever an opportunity. Creating value in front of a deal makes you known.
You Build Your Credibility
It isn’t enough to be known. One salesperson has called me every quarter for over ten years. He is always “Just checking in to touch base.” In ten years he has never once shared a useful idea, provided me with a unique view on an industry trend, or warned me of something I might be getting wrong.
When you create value before claiming any, you are not only known, you are known as a value creator. Your credibility grows when you prove you have business acumen and the situational knowledge.
You Demonstrate Your Commitment
The hapless, helpless salesperson above isn’t really committed to working with me. If he was, he wouldn’t call every 90 days with no communication between quarters.
Continually creating value before claiming any demonstrates that you are in this thing for the long haul, that you aren’t going to give up, give in, and call it quits. It demonstrates commitment and persistence, two qualities your dream client hopes you have when it comes to helping them produce better results.
Deposits Before Withdraws
You can’t withdraw value from an account where you have made no deposits. If you try to, you quickly discover that you are overdrawn and that there is a penalty to be paid. That penalty is usually a loss of trust and the loss of the relationship.
By making deposits over time, you build up your account balance. When it is time to withdraw some of that value, it’s easy because you’ve got more than enough to cover it.
What do you do to create value before claiming any?
What happens when someone tries to claim value from you before they’ve created enough? How do you feel about that person?
When you need something, who do you call? How do you know to call them?
How long do you persist in creating value and making deposits before you can claim any part of the value you create?