I recently on-boarded a new customer to Segment that I had actually closed when I was at my previous company, Braintree Payments. The new customer is famous in the tech world and is notorious throughout the tech world as being one of the hardest companies to work with. They have a very “not made here” mentality and vendors often run into the cultural challenges of the internal dynamics.
However, when I approached them to take a look at Segment and my exciting new gig, I was welcomed with open arms. In fact, all the folks I worked with previously were happy to see me and looked forward to working with me again. I was surprised and honored, to be honest.
When I think about my first transaction with this particular company, I came to realize that I invested heavily in the relationship while still maintaining a professional status which allowed me to not only create a great partnership but also allowed me to close the deal, making both ends of the stakeholders happy and satisfied. I was friendly and kind, but not so much so that I crossed over into the “friend zone.” I was honest and fair and did everything I could on the business side to get them the best possible commercial terms based on my limitations and communicated clearly that I did so.
Often times, I see so many sales people think only about their immediate satisfaction and trying to squeeze every single penny out of the transaction. The usual suspects are typically high-pressure sales tactics, trying to push a specific agenda, diving deep for those “one liners” like they’ll actually help to close the deal – which is a bit sad. At the end of the day, when you’re selling for growth, selling in the tech world and in the micro-bubble known as Silicon Valley, those type of shenanigans are quickly dismissed.
What people ultimately value and respect is when you provide a great product at a fair price and that you’re as straight up as possible. And if you can offer the best commercial terms (price, terms, conditions, etc.) and make it known that you have fought hard to get the best terms, people, respect and remember that. They come to trust you and now you have relationship in place and that you can take anywhere – which is the ultimate compliment to a professional salesperson.