I've worked with thousands of salespeople over two decades now, and it's interesting that so many salespeople are still afraid to have candid discussions about the results a client is seeking and how well what they have sold them is working.
Many sellers wax eloquently about the features and benefits of their product, and especially why it’s a much better value than the competition. At the end of the day, whether or not you get an order, and certainly whether or not you keep your client onboard for a long time, depends on the results you deliver—even if the person you sell to never mentions it.
Think about your own life. If your mobile phone is "buggy" or not able to get you the apps or photos you really want, you’ll change. If your favorite restaurant gets sloppy or delivers mediocre food to your table, you’ll change. And, so it is regardless of what you sell.
Now, to deliver on the results your clients are certainly expecting you need to do two things:
1. Discuss the desired business results they are looking for.
You cannot deliver what you don’t know. Doing this requires preparation about the business and trends in their industry, building trust to be able to get candid responses, and a process for your needs analysis work, like the 4A Needs Analysis we recommend.
2. Agree on 3 or 4 "measurables" that will indicate how well your plan is delivering.
Many salespeople shy away from this step, preferring to take a “no news is good news” approach. But, neglecting these discussions always comes back to bite in the form of a painful cancellation. If things are not going as well as they should be, adjust the plan and the execution. That will help keep your client on board and earn their respect.
The discussion about results doesn’t need to be scary and should never be treated in a less-than-thorough manner. Don’t fear that reaper; welcome it with open arms.