If You Can’t Fully Solve Customers’ Problems, Walk Away!
The key to being a great sales professional is the ability to walk away from a deal when you aren’t able to ensure a great outcome for the customer. If you can’t solve customers’ problems completely, you’re not really solving them at all. This includes even going to the extent of recommending a product or service (not yours!) that will be a better fit.
Let’s assume we sold a solution that will NOT fully solve the customers problem. We will get there 80% of the way but there will be residual issues we cannot resolve.
Typically, large and complex business deals have payments linked to stages of completion or a percentage paid out at the conclusion of a performance period. After the initial implementation period, unaddressed issues will emerge as the product reaches users who focus on those areas.
Remember: The customer realized this challenge need external intervention – a change. That’s why they came out with the requirement to the outside world. This was a problem they could not solve on their own.
Consequences When You Can’t Solve Customers’ Problems Fully
As days go by, irritants of the unsolved, unaddressed issues will keep surfacing – a nightmare for your customer support team. It will escalate up the chain and senior members of the customer’s management team will be drawn in. The customer will want you to now address these issues – application in use – which will draw your top management into the circle… not to mention the development or product team to scurry a fix.
That win of $50K will now become an expense. It will be a reputation and trust problem several times the size of the margin you got the company in the first place. On top of that, the relationship will sour closing the door practically forever to a lucrative life-long customer/partner.
So, if you cannot solve customers’ problems entirely – walk away.