I had a long three hour sales interview yesterday and it was a solid chat about the industry, yesterday, tomorrow and today.
We had a chat about how political the IT industry is and how a lot of people can be bought to get a contract and deals. We talked about all the RFP’s and RFQ’s and we spoke about ’sebuthargas’ strategy and well as credit facilities offered by a few IT companies.
One thing I hear often from time and time again is; RELATIONSHIPS. You build a relationship for the betterment of a future business purpose and of course to push a sale. As little as RM5000 today, you would be able to re-sell and get another RM5000 tomorrow. Basically a relationship is an element that must always be taken care off.
Sometimes through a good relationship someone else will refer you other people because of the relationships that you have built, such as: technical support relationship, always being there to assist a client, product capability, your promised deliverables are met and most importantly the after sales service. After sales services is highly regarded as a relationship ‘spoiler’ at all times. I like good service and I pay for good service, but when something goes wrong, I like for the after sales service to be prompt and of good quality.
As a headhunter our recruitment cycle extends beyond the candidates commencement date. This relationship is a lifetime relationship because my candidates will follow me throughout their careers, well hopefully. I know 3 or 4 who has done so. It is a relationship based on trust and deliverables.
A good example of a relationship at risk is:
After a deal has been closed and all the deliverables/SLA has been agreed upon all the documentation and operational field work is handed to the operations department. Prior to that, maybe two-three months before, the sales consultant has been to many meetings, walking the floor of the clients site to understand the business engineering processes and learning up the business to implement his product and services. So after all that hard work and many meetings and lunches/dinners/karaoke’s, the client will definitely be fond of the Sales person because of the relationship that has been built over a few moths. Well, so now the project has been implemented and after this all the support and SLA adherences comes from the operational team. Due to company policy the sales person is unable to interfere with the operations department.
So when there is a problem, the client will obviously be pissed off because the SLA is not adhered to and the sales person is under fire and making the client look stupid to his or her boss because of recommending the sales person through because the support deliverables are not met after a picture has been painted and the SLA has been agreed upon. Well, even when the SLA is met which has been met on several occasion, the relationship is now in the hands of the operations/support department and you do not know what would be happening, whether all is good and all has been spoilt and has to be salvaged.
What I am trying to say here is, a relationship is the key to a healthy business, even through the ups and downs. Trust needs to be built as the relationship furthers on to a deeper level, because now you have a responsibility in maintaining the relationship. Once a relationship has been broken down, you need to work double as hard to work for the betterment of the relationship or once it has broken down you will be close to getting zero.
We work hard for the sale but we work harder to keep a relationship alive.
We do not want to fall in the saying that ‘I should have done so; I knew it or I wish I had’. When it comes to dealing with people especially relationships, we need to work harder and always put in the extra effort.
The pleasure in getting a good deal is satisfying, but the pleasure when I get when I am able to land someone a job and he or she accepts my clients offer gives me greater pleasure. I closed the gap which my client has been having difficulty hiring and I manage to assist another person my candidate to obtain a new role with of course a good package.
Quote of the Day - Tony Robbins - "If you do what you've always done, you'll get what you've always gotten."