I have taken notice of something over the past year. I am struggling with communications and interactions with my HR vendor partners who supply my clients with services and products. This struggle, for me, is in how to deal with a full-court press with these vendors who are super-imposing themselves and their wares on me, and not in a helpful way. I will explain.
To start, when I accept an invitation for a one-hour conference call to learn more about a product or service and it’s understood upfront to be an hour, I don’t expect the information to be formatted into an hour and a half. I also don’t expect it to be a diatribe of how and why their product/service is the best thing since sliced bread.
Further, I’d like to be able to ask a question when I need clarifying information. I often feel like I’m sitting for a sermon and not allowed to speak until the sermon is completed and I leave the church. Vendors: please pause in between your sentences and don’t feel that you must consume each and every second with speaking. I will even go so far as to say that on a recent conference call, my direct-contact HR vendor had his boss join us. While on the call, my direct contact and his boss were actually stepping all over each other in a struggle to get in the last word. What I found rather alarming is that my contact became noticeably angry on the call because his boss was over-controlling the conversation.
Please do your homework before we get on the call. When I am asked questions (those few times I am allowed to speak) for information that can be easily found on the client’s website or by simply Googling it, I know this person is not prepared. That is not a good thing for a salesperson to reveal to someone who serves as a catalyst to the clients. The “devil is in the details” and I expect that when I accept an invitation for a conference call, my time and the best interest of my clients will be respected with great information and a compelling reason as to why my clients should consider this product or service. Tell me how, why, and for what reason your product will be a great solution for my clients. Use real-life examples and show me through your presentation skills that you have my clients’ best interest in mind by demonstrating the problem-solving powers of your products and services.
Don’t spend the first 10 minutes telling me about the history, revenue stream, background of your CEO, how many years your organization has been in business, nor about the need for you to “hit” your sales goals for the quarter. Though these are important points for you, it will not add value to your presentation’s content for the client.
There are many great HR products and services available, so knowing what they are and how they work and more importantly why my clients should know about them as a talent acquisition resource or employment branding tool is of upmost importance to me.
Please don’t come across like it’s us against them. That scenario does not exist in my world. We are all on the same side and striving to do what is best. I also don’t appreciate the bad mouthing that I sometimes hear from one vendor about another.
Conversely, when HR vendors do not respond in a timely manner after being left multiple voicemail messages and sending emails, I really start to wonder about the service delivery that will begin after the purchase. Getting off on the right foot is one of those details that can make or break an impending relationship. This brings up another point: The foundation of any business transaction is in the relationships that are forged which bring about trust and respect. You can never humanize the interaction enough. Part of the psychology behind the seller-buyer relationship is the ability by both parties to relate, listen, and understand the perspective of the other person. In some circles, it’s called chemistry. So before you sell to me, relate to me and my clients. This will help us better understand and trust what you say.
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If HR vendors can have just one takeaway from this article and begin to implement it immediately, she/he will begin to see the positive impact this will have on her/his professional sales success.
Here’s to building out enduring relationships.
photo from Bigstock