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Slowing Down to Go Fast

Posted by: Rod Kurtz on March 18, 2009

Many sales professionals have the bad habit of assuming what their customers’ needs are and thus missing valuable opportunities to expand their business. I find this especially true when the sales pro has been working with the same group of customers for a long time. Tenure is a two-edged sword.

Here are the realities:

• Customers’ needs are always changing.

• A customer who wasn’t interested in the past may be now.

• Our perspective is maturing day by day.

Our customers’ needs and business realities are always changing. But with long-term customers a lot of us choose to act as if the opposite were true. We rarely slow down to verify what is really happening in our customers’ world.

When a sales pro from another company calls one of our customers and asks questions that land an order, we become frustrated. To prevent this from happening, slow down. Its the surest way to help you go fast in the long run. Always complete thorough needs analysis interviews with your customers to be sure you are sufficiently meeting their current needs and staying top of mind when future needs arise.

Charlie Fewell
Charlie Fewell & Associates

Reader Comments

Kirsten Osolind

March 24, 2009 11:58 AM

Great advice, Charlie. Business owners might heed the advice of turtles. It seems counter-intuitive when many biz gurus are still suggesting you need to sprint like a hare, expand your territory, and distance yourself from the competition. Never forget that it was the slow-n-steady turtle, not the speed demon hare, that won the race.

If biz owners continue operating in hyperspeed expand mode, oblivious to the increasing economic danger ahead, they may find themselves tumbling downhill, landing bottom side up. While biz owners don't need to climb into their shell, some cautious business retrenchment is in order.

Turtles hold on, hold fast, and hold out long after the rest let go. In controlled tests, turtles have lived in nitrogen environments for 33 HOURS, while most animals cannot live more than 30 minutes in one. Green turtles can migrate more than 1400 miles to lay their eggs. Even tiny turtles hold tight to twigs to prevent themselves from being washed away in a strong current.

Slow down to go fast.

Kirsten Osolind

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