So you’ve just secured a big 7-figure program award from a key customer. One that you’ve been working on for perhaps three or four years. Of course you’re excited! But is it appropriate now for you to show your excitement to your customer? Perhaps you want to thank your executive sponsor profusely for her support through this long and complicated negotiation process.
Saying ‘Thank you for your business’ simply does not create value.
OK. Don’t get too literal on me. A brief “thanks for your support” may be in order.
But, top performing sales executives recognize that B2B sales involves their customers buying solutions because it makes good business sense. That isn’t to say that personal relationships aren’t important. I’m sure that you have strong relationships throughout your customer’s complex network of buying influencers. You probably wouldn’t have won the deal otherwise. Perhaps those relationships are part of what differentiated you from your competitors.
World class sales organizations train, coach, and provide the tools necessary to enable sales reps to systematically investigate, identify, quantify, and prioritize customers’ specific value drivers. This enables them to formulate and communicate high value solutions across the buyer’s organization in order to clearly differentiate their offering against the competition.
Ultimately, that’s what really sells.
Receiving a big order is confirmation that you and your company have successfully established your solution as offering superior value compared to your competition. This is no time to weaken your value proposition with little league ‘thank yous’. Receipt of the order means that it is now time for you to show your customer that you mean business. A strong competitor is not going to go down without a fight, and purchase orders have been known to be withdrawn after their award for a variety of reasons. Receipt of the purchase order means it’s time to reconfirm to all of the important buying influencers that their decision was the correct one. Saying ‘thank you’ serves no purpose towards this objective.
Send your customer a message that successful execution of this project is a top priority to your organization, and that it will be planned and executed in a manner that exceeds your customer’s expectations. Solid on-time and on-budget delivery is all the ‘Thank you’ your customer needs.
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