Issue 30: Gorilla Edition
Do you have an 800 lb. gorilla living with you?
You know those accounts that take over your life completely? Everything revolves around them – always (and they will tell you that is how they like it
Oh sure, when you were trying to earn their business it was easy. You put in effort, find out what they needed, and started doing it… ALL of it! They are so cute when they are little.
What you do in the beginning as “extra”
becomes standard business practice
after THREE times!
All of those “things” they asked for, you know the ones you did to earn their business, have become their expectations NOT an exception.
Once = an exception
A great example of this is free shipping. Many times this is something that people throw in to bring in an order more quickly. If you throw it in the last week of every month – I can promise you, your prospects & customers will start waiting for it.
Twice = a favor
Thrice = standard
Another example is “I never buy anything at Macy’s without a 20% off coupon, they’ve trained me that if I wait a little while it will show up in the mail.” 20% off is now standard price, the customer doesn’t even see it as a discount.
Don’t allow EXTRAORDINARY
to become ordinary.
It may not sound right, but it is all about managing what they expect – early. No one wants an angry 800 lb. gorilla in their life!
when you’re trying to earn someone’s business have conversations around what doing business together will be like.
Find out what they WANT… what they NEED… and what is missing in their current vendor relationship.
Also talk about what your ‘standard’ might look like– PLUS what you would be willing to do that is extraordinary just for them.
You’ll need to keep reminding them that the extraordinary is just that or it will become ordinary quickly.
if you already have 800 lbs. of expectation in a customer start to ask more questions BEFORE doing.
Stress it isn’t that you aren’t going to do something – more that you are trying to ensure you match their expectations.
No one wants to have less service, but a few more questions will make sure you’re keeping that gorilla happy AND still have time for other things (like finding the next 800 lb. gorilla by prospecting).
Zoo Keepers don’t LIVE with the gorillas!
Here is the key – 800 lb. gorillas are very nice to visit when they live at the zoo.
That means that you – as the salesperson in charge of the relationship – need to ensure you don’t let the gorilla account control how you spend your time!
Much like the zoo keeper you have to manage them. Big accounts can be very lucrative – it isn’t that you don’t want to have an 800 lb. gorilla in your account base.
You don’t want it to be THE ONLY account you have, so make sure you manage the gorilla NOT the other way around.