Tired of erring with clients?

Joel confessed he made a huge error with a long-standing client. He was hired as their sales consultant to drive sales. You can imagine the past few years were not stellar but the company did manage to make the numbers they needed. So Joel was able to continue on a month to month basis as their consultant.

However, as the economy is trying hard to improve, the sales for the company have not inched up but instead remained stagnant. Being in a routine, Joel continued the same strategies, the same interaction with management, and the same monthly billing.

Unfortunately, management viewed the fact that while the economy was picking up while their numbers are not that it must be because Joel was not performing to his best potential. They felt he had become complacent so they terminated his services.

With some embarrassment, Joel admitted he should have strategically considered where the company was, the changes in the market landscape and how he could have incorporated the two. In addition, he should have asked for quarterly meetings with management to get their insights on the current business, discussed possible new ideas and most importantly, kept everyone in the loop.

Had Joel made meetings a part of his business plan and included key players, he would have had a pulse on the thought of the day and known how to best steer the sales team. Sadly, he did none of the above and is in need of finding a new client. On a positive note, he recognizes how to improve services in the future.

The same week, but on the other end of the spectrum, Jennifer confessed she shared too much information with the company with whom she was contracting. Tempted to answer a question that was asked of her, she revealed a conflict of interest that got her fired. She said the moment the words left her mouth she knew she was in trouble. Jennifer now knows when a challenging question arises to take a deep breath and then carefully ask why the question is being asked. It may be for an entirely different reason than what was assumed.

You can see between the two stories is a question of balance in communication. It’s wise to make yourself as available as possible and speak to as many as possible within an organization so everyone gets to know you. When sensitive matters arise be certain to get all of the decision makers in one room to have an honest and forthright conversation in order to eliminate any misunderstanding all the while monitoring what you say.

When management sees you working in this manner, they will give you the benefit of the doubt and let you do your best to turn things around. In the end, you may develop a lifetime client.

Developing a returning and referring clientele builds your personal brand best and is what puts you on the wave of the Smooth Sale!


Elinor Stutz, CEO of Smooth Sale, (800) 704-1499; was designated as a “Top 25 Sales Influencer for 2012.” Elinor authored the International Best-Selling book, “Nice Girls DO Get the Sale: Relationship Building That Gets Results”, Sourcebooks and best selling, “HIRED! How to Use Sales Techniques to Sell Yourself On Interviews”, Career Press.