Looking back at all past filled with glory and regrets, a few vivid memories still linger. There is no point bragging all about in past-tense, but a few reasons why this story matters is a real deal. Recollecting these few memoirs of a reminiscent career has been really a throw-back – broken shoes, sleepless travels, working in solace, long weekends, odd hours, crazy ideas, sales targets and what not. One such emotion is having accomplished something magnum opus for a client, yet feeling nonchalant – building a product from scratch as a developer, which worked years after the initial release. A few years back, having worked in an unending development project that grind halt & almost shook our lives one fine day is one such worth sharing. Post the closure fiasco, a lot of new opportunities opened up and significantly changed many things for the years to come!
2 year, clock-in and clock-out, the development project began with almost few dozen developers, experts, contract hires, managers et all. With no real significant changes in the product requirements, working on an obselete lifecycle seemed tiring. No refactoring for 2 long years seemed something deeply disturbing. No client-side changes. A 2 year old requirement-spec, and long deadlines. No tasks worthy product-centric and a client who didn't care too much about the product itself! A long wait for 2 more years for the final show was so taxing. With no product managers to manage the product, we decided to break the hierarchy, and meet the client directly. Made the long travel. Opened up, and honestly explained what's brewing down the block. Showed them the new capacities what 24 months had given us and how cost-effective the real product could work. Simple, revolting, and life-changing decision, perhaps. A month later, the entire team was disbanded. It was a day when something small (yet stupid) decision, miraculously changed the direction how our lives headed. What changed the equation to simply put in plain speak was talking with the client.
A single demo of a product prototype which made 150+ pending deliverables, that a 2 dozen developer team had been slogging for over 2 years was now simply – Obsolete! The client's costs got decreased rapidly & cut down our production time from estimated 3+ years to few months. We managed to work on critical development, change requests with a team of merely 2 developers from initial cohort of 25 – a massive cost savings for the client with down-sizing and re-assignment! All it took was a single face-to-face meeting to change the perception our client had on the project, and bring clarity to what the client wanted versus what we were doing all along! Be a Go-getter!
Help your clients unlock savings and value. The more you offer, the more they save. Sales is not the way to hit someone up with a cold message. Buying need not be automated. Meeting with prospects and clients is hard. Never be afraid to be honest and say how you feel. Your prospects will find it refreshing, and will trust you more. Clients definitely are willing to repeat their business with you. In a time where we lesser talk face to face, a sales maverick should not lose the art of effective face-to-face conversations with your clients.
Obviously it is not the cost-savings or the numbers that is worthy to be bragged about in this story, but a singular focus more on how an event as insignificant as a client meeting, could throw down the spanner on the wheels and bring in unintended consequences that saved the client's expenses largely. Everyone wanted to solve one problem, but it backfired and created a larger problem, and this outcome was not predictable. To talk about the sales perspective in this debacle, its all about consultative selling the lack of which makes one lose retainers and future work. If you don't work towards keeping your clients expectations, or sell your clients something without value, the chances you could be handed pink-slips one bright Monday for no reason of your own is very probable! Keep working hard to add value. Talk with your clients face-to-face! Tie your KPIs to the specific goals.
Client experience is more about asking the relevant questions, showing empathy, and offering options. There is no alternate for visiting your client in person. Pick a convenient time - Make sure its comfortably best. Talk about investing in the relationship. Happy clients make the best sales team. Its all about building relationships than selling products. The sustainability of a business is all about how long their clients stay with them.
All ahead, FLANK!