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  • Writer's pictureSkip Miller

Making the Transfer of Ownership Extremely Tasty!

Updated: Sep 10, 2019

Read this recent series of events that occurred for one of our food service clients in the Chicagoland area. It’s a powerful story that reinforces how important it is to remember – IT IS ALWAYS THE BUYER’S PROCESS!

From: Good, ambitious salesperson Sent: Wednesday, October 23, 2014, 1:51 PM To: Important Prospect

Thank you for joining us yesterday for not only the tasting, but for giving us the opportunity to share our story. As filmmakers, I know you appreciate a good story and I hope ours was one you enjoyed.

It was such a pleasure meeting you both and I hope we are able to be a part of your event’s success. The fact that you’ve outgrown your previous location marks success to me.

I look forward to your decision on Friday.

The salesperson was feeling very optimistic about this opportunity. And with good reason. Getting a prospect to attend the tour and tasting was a significant step forward before they signed their proposal. When most folks heard their transformational story, they walked away in awe of this impressive company.

From: Influential Prospect Sent: Monday, October 28, 2014, 10:54 AM To: Soon to be disappointed salesperson

Hi. Thank you again for the tasting last week. It was very nice to meet you.

I just wanted to let you know that we have decided to go with another caterer for this event.

All best,

A tough message to receive first thing on a Monday morning. A lot of salespeople would have read this email, grabbed another cup of coffee and commiserated with their peers about how tough the competition is, how their pricing isn’t competitive, or how the customers just don’t get it. Some BMWC (bitch, moan, whine and complaining) before they get back to the grind, back to selling!

Not this company.

From: resilient salesperson Sent: Monday, October 28, 2014, 12:32 PM To: pleasantly surprised prospect

Thanks for your e-mail, while I’m disappointed that we won’t have an opportunity to work together I also understand that there are many great catering options here in the Chicagoland area. May I ask whom you’ve selected?

Even more important, we consider feedback a gift, so it’s important to our continued growth and improvement as an organization. Would you please take a moment to share with us any feedback you have regarding our tasting or services?

The very best of luck with your event.

This email it turns out was very effective, and it solicited this response from the prospect:

From: Prospect who will soon be a Partner Sent: Monday, October 28, 2014 2:18 PM To: Salesperson who has stepped up considerably in prospects’ eyes

Thanks! We decided to go with XXXXX. (Your biggest competitor).

I am happy to give some feedback. My first thought was that it was interesting to learn about the company, but our experience felt very focused on your company and your approaches and didn’t feel quite as much about how we could work together on our event. I gave a lot of our information multiple times and there was still some confusion in the conversation, which made me feel like our needs were not the highest priority in the conversation. I just got the sense that you might be better suited to corporate clients rather than small non-profits.

Have a great day!

So what did our clients hear from this last e-mail?

• At subsequent Tastings and Tours, they need to make it more about the prospect and less about their company • They need to ask more questions about the prospect’s event, needs and wants • When they learn those answers, they’ll tie in the applicable aspects of the Tasting and Tour • Education is ALWAYS a 2-step process. When they’re educating they ALWAYS need to be learning • They need to use the FLIP more when we’re in Education and Transfer of Ownership, Stage 2 and 3. Every time they make a statement, they’ll use questions like the ones below to check-in and make it about the prospect:

o Would that be appropriate for your event? o Is that something that would appeal to you or your company? o How could you see utilizing this resource / technology in your organization?

Yes, they are a good learning organization. But, they weren’t done yet. Many organizations and salespeople would have chalked this up to experience and just let the prospect go. “We didn’t get that order, maybe next time” Again, not here. The sales manager and salesperson strategized about the appropriate response back to the prospect.

If, after your sales call, education session, or transfer of ownership activity, the prospect can’t say loud and clear “THEY HEARD ME, THEY REALLY HEARD ME”, you run the risk of losing what you’ve worked so hard to gain.

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