All the deals you make are not created equal. In fact, some are far more valuable than others. Some are worth far less than you might imagine, even if your client spends a lot of money.
Sales with no profit: These deals are empty calories. They have no nutritional value. You can’t execute for your clients without being a profitable business. Revenue is vanity, and profit is sanity. If you can’t make money, there is no reason to take the client. Listen, I know the logo may be great, and you may believe that they serve the strategic value of allowing you to win more clients, but you can net a few bucks and still land the client. If you can’t, that’s a sales problem.
Sales to nightmare clients: There is no reason to do business with bad people. There is no reason to work with people who do things that are illegal, immoral, or people who are generally miserable. They’ll mistreat you and your people, and they destroy your culture in the bargain.
Sales where the client didn’t really agree to change: There are some people who agree to move their business to you specifically because your competitor is terrible. Well, that’s what they tell you. What you will discover is that some people blame their partner for not being able to produce the results they need because they are unwilling to make the changes they need to make on their end. You pick up your end of the stick, and they refuse to pick up theirs.
Sales that take time and energy away from quality sales: There are some sales that take more time and more energy than they are worth. They prevent you from devoting your time and attention to bigger, better, more meaningful opportunities. You can spend as much time and energy winning a small deal as you can winning a big deal. It can also take the same resources to serve small clients, resources that will then be unavailable to your dream clients, once you win them.
Notice that transactional sales did not make this list. Even though you should be strategic, and you should be growing as a trusted advisor, transactional sales are not negative—only transactional behaviors are, and only when something else is needed. There are very high quality sales that are nothing but transactions, and there is some portion of transactional sales that are of low quality.
If you are going to sell anyway, you might as well invest your time and energy in high quality sales. You are a reflection of the clients that you serve.
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Filed under: Sales 3.0