Chapter 11

Sales Mistake #10

Treating Clients as Enemies

Picture this: You’re the sales manager in a technology company, and you’ve been trying to reach a new target audience that has been hard to connect with—until now.

A designated leader in the industry (the national association president) approaches you to demo your product to the chapter members in her yearlong tour across the country. As a bonus, you find out she happens to be a decent salesperson. You get all that exposure (hundreds in your new target audience) at no cost to you. All you have to do is loan her the technology for the presentations. You assign Karla, one of your team members, to the project.

Karla makes a few blunders.

During her first conversation with the association president, Karla is gnarly, but the association president assumes she is having a bad day, and gives her the benefit of the doubt. She provides Karla with her presentation schedule and waits for the demo technology. Karla sends it later than promised; in fact, she sends it to the association president two weeks too late for her first two presentations.

When the association president actually receives your technology, it is faulty because Karla didn’t check to make sure it was working before she sent it. To make matters worse, when the president calls to explain the problem, Karla blames the problem on her for not being tech-savvy, rather than checking out the problem.

Finally, Karla replaces the faulty technology with working technology, but ...

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