“So pressing this button will make me rich?!”
“Yes… just sign here please…”
What do you do when you’re in a sales meeting with a client, and someone on your team says something that you know is a bit whiffy?
In situations like this, I find it difficult to manage my impulse control to jump in and correct the whiffy-ness and luckily I have had my charm and tact to rely on to make the situation “not too awkward”.
Not all the time though.
Preparing well for important client meetings and presentation is key, and making sure that internal communications is on point. This is also where I may raise any concerns or questions that I have, and get any potential issues out of the way beforehand.
We are all one team, and we need to be on the same page about a lot of things in order to work well together.
That’s my motto especially when it comes to interacting with clients.
I don’t like surprises on my side, and I definitely don’t want the clients to be caught out by anything they aren’t prepared for.
Be a scout.
Always be prepared.
And try not to play around with smelly things. 💩
What do you do when you’re in a situation, and someone says something that is wrong? An example might be you are in a sales meeting with the account managers and potential new clients.
And you hear your account exec say something like “Our software will bring you riches beyond your wildest imagination. You just have to press this button on this day, and then money will fall out the sky.”
That’s an example.
What do you do then? Do you step forward and contradict your team in front of the client? Or do you keep quiet and try and fix the situation after the fact?
This is an interesting question, because it depends on the power dynamics within the team and the client, as well as how critical that piece of information is.
If that piece of information is a trivial one, then potentially, you can let it slide. But if it’s something quite significant, then I would think quite hard about what my next step should be.
As part of delivery, as a project manager, with a team that’s responsible for delivering on promises that the sales team make during the pre sales process, I find it quite difficult to keep quiet when I hear elaborate promises being made.
A lot of the times, I will avoid the situation, by having a prep meeting beforehand.
I would like to see what the customer believes the problem is that they’re trying to solve, what our team feel that we can do to help them solve the problem and how we’re going to go ahead and do that.
A lot of the time, the pre sales team would also have demos that they’re going to show here.
“Mr Customer, you have this problem, I have customise our demonstration environment to mimic your business process. And this is how I see is tackling these issues that you spoke about.”
So sometimes I will sit down and have a look at the demos (this is way back in the beginning of my career) so that I am prepared for the meetings. And I can bring up my concerns before we’re in front of the client.
This helps avoids a lot the issues that you find where you’re in meeting, and somebody in your team says something that isn’t quite correct.
And it’s very important for you, for the customer, to actually have the right expectations, and the right understanding of what we’re trying to deliver.
Thankfully, towards the later part of my career, I believe that it education for the sales team have been better.
Or maybe I’ve just been lucky enough to be working in organisations that have trained them well, so that these situations never arise again (for me).
I just thought I’d share this with you so that if you do find yourself in such a situation, you have some tools that you can use to avoid this happening in future, because it really isn’t very fun when you’re in an environment where you’ve got to step up and tell the customer that what my teammate is saying isn’t quite correct.
And you’re not going to get riches falling up from the sky just because you press this button on this day.
Maybe you’ll get a couple of pennies turn at you but certainly not riches from the sky because I would really love for that system to be mine.
I hope you found this useful. And I’ll see you again tomorrow.
Have a great day.