I had a meeting with a prospect for 30 minutes or less when I started a new chapter of my life to work self employed. I learned 3 most important lessons in that meeting from the prospect who is a serial entrepreneur. These 3 lessons helped me a lot and today in this article which would be shorter than a 5 minute read, I’d like to share those with you. I hope it helps you grow your thinking and approach as a business professional.
1. Go Step By Step. Start Somewhere.
Just like any other sales rep or business developer, I wanted to sell him everything possible or something which can create a big value for me and for him, too. So I was pitching him something big. He said, “Ash, you can’t touch the sky in one leap. You need to go step by step. Take one step at a time. Let’s start somewhere.”
Indeed a great lesson. We have a tendency to pitch what we think can create a big value for us! Thus, whenever a customer/prospect proposes to start with a small project, we become more aggressive to push him to take a bigger solution or multiple services. This makes us lose a small thing coming towards us as well. Here, we should understand that we may start with a small project without pitching too hard. Once the client likes your approach and work, he/she will pass on bigger things as well. However, asking someone to buy everything you have who has never experienced your capabilities and expertise may not let you win the business so easily. So start with a small part and ask him/her to see your expertise and then pitch for further service. Sometimes, you don’t even need to pitch, and the client asks himself.
What a wonderful ‘Business Development’ Lesson!
2. Keep Connection Alive
During our meeting, he talked about one of his customers to whom he will provide something out of goodwill for free. That thing is not part of his expertise so he would pay it to a vendor and pass it to his customer for free. He said, “This is important to keep the connection on.”
So truly said! Whenever you have a premium client or a prospect who can get converted into a bigger client, you must keep you connections alive in all possible ways. The reason is, whenever an opportunity arises, people look into the closed circle first. If they can’t find anything in their inner circle, then they check other options. So whenever possible and as much possible do for your customers and prospects so you can keep your network alive. Money making should come at second phase, building a good relationship is vital.
A great ‘Lead Nurturing’ Lesson!
3. Work with me (not for me)
When we were concluding the meeting, he asked, “Ash! Will you work with me? Please mark my words. I’m asking you to work with me, not for me.” And he lived up to his word. He made me work with him, not for him!
This is the spirit true leaders have in themselves. They trust people and their capabilities; delegate them tasks; and look for the end results. These traits make them standout from heard. Make your vendors, employees and other people feel that they are working with you, and not for you. There is a huge difference in these 2 phenomena. And the former one keeps a person motivated and passionate to work for you because he/she is working for his own growth. He/she enjoys the freedom of thinking and execution bestowed to him by you.
Amazing ‘Leadership’ Lesson!
I had learned many things from him and still learning! He is the one for whom sometimes I go above and beyond without thinking about billable hours and other materialistic limitations. The reason is he makes me feel good about my work and let me learn amazing lessons to shape my personal and professional life better!
Do you have anything to share, which you learned and can be helpful to others? If yes, please share in the comment section. Also, feel free to share your views about these 3 lessons.
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