Learn techniques to build longer-term relationships, signs of tenuous deals.
- A colleague of mine was working at an ad agency. He came in and took over several new accounts. Now, he wanted to create value, but the problem was the business had originally been sold on price. Here's what was happening. Every month, they would have an account review, and every month, it was the same. It always ended in yelling. The client would use strong arm tactics. The agency would give away more of their services. They kept the account, but nobody was happy, because value kept eroding over time, and not just for the ad agency, their margins were shrinking, but value also eroded for the client, because think about it.
How excited were the agency people to work on their account? They weren't excited at all. They hated it. Now my colleague was a junior person at the time. So the question was, how could he reverse this situation? How do you reframe an account that has already been sold on price? Well, if this has ever happened to you, there's a couple things that you need to recognize. First off, even if you're a junior person, you do have some power in this situation. So here's what I recommended for my colleague, and the same would hold true for you.
The first thing you need to do is, schedule a different meeting. Instead of the usual monthly review, you need to have a meeting where you discuss the client's goals. You need to tell the client, "In this meeting, "we wanna discuss your long term objectives. "I don't wanna talk about implementation and pricing. "I'd like us to have a more strategic conversation, "because I feel like I'm always getting defensive "in those monthly meetings. "I don't like that, and I don't think that bodes well "for either of us." The second thing to do is, find an ally.
You see, the chances are, there's someone on the account side who doesn't like this situation any more than you do. So find that person. Brainstorm with them. Figure out, why does this keep going so badly? Now ideally, your boss will also be your ally in this. So I encourage you, share your strategy with him or her. The key thing is, you need to take preventative action. By the time you get to the contract, it's already too late. So if you wanna avoid that renegotiation trap of having to resell the business, renegotiate the deal every month or every year, take preventative action.
Schedule the different kind of meeting, the strategic meeting, and find the allies that will help you reframe this situation, because by that point, you could establish a new playing field, and then when the contract comes time for renegotiation, the objectives are completely different.
- Negotiating with noble purpose
- Three kinds of sales negotiation
- Why deals fall apart
- Spotting and diffusing negotiation traps
- Asking for their boss
- Negotiating via email
- Avoiding renegotiating sales