So, you are going along in business, doing your thing, focused on what…
Getting the gig, right?
That is what most of my clients want.
They want to get onto the shortlist and close the deal. Then, they hope to go in, do an incredible job and have the client fall in love them.
If they are lucky, another engagement may come from that same client. Woohoo!
What if the goal right from the get-go is not to get one booking? What if the goal became more about affecting change within the company?
Perhaps our DESIRE is that we move our relationship from client/speaker to client/trusted advisor or client/consultant, creating a relationship that is more long term.
Now we have moved from transactional thinking (get the gig) to relational thinking (long-term customer relationship), a term I recently heard from my awesome friend and coach Lisa Larter.
Greg Schinkel figured this out a few years ago. Instead of doing one-off training for his clients, he goes deeply into front-line leadership strategies and works with clients at all of their locations to put leaders on the same page throughout the company.
When the entire leadership team of a company raises the bar, guess what happens? The company has success on all levels. In Greg’s case, productivity goes up because he deals with manufacturing companies, and the results of the work are more easily quantified.
I will be interviewing Greg again to talk about this, but if you missed our first podcast, we talked about going for those more substantial contracts.
Today, Greg continues to book business with his clients with price tags in the millions and the agreements sometimes take 2-3 years to fulfill. What’s beautiful is that Greg has a team of people delivering the training.
Perhaps you aren’t looking to have a business as complex as Greg’s, and that is okay too. However, maybe you would like to do more work with each company you work with. If so, think about what questions you are asking your clients in the early stages of their event planning. If you can get to the root of their “why” you may have the insight required to move into a more consultative position.
Why are you having this event?
Why do you want my topic for this event?
What’s your long-term goal, or endgame, with regards to having this topic discussed?
How can I partner with you to help affect change on a deeper, more meaningful level?
Approaching the sales processes in this way is really a shift in perspective. No doubt there will still be times when you will provide a single solution for one event, and that is okay.
However, when you start to think of yourself as a partner to your clients, as building long-term relationships to help go deep on your topic, I think you will find that your business becomes both more meaningful and more profitable.
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!