The Best Sale You Shouldn't Make
You are asked to quote a job.
The specs of the piece are well within your capabilities. This is a new customer, one that you know little about but what little you know troubles you...
Their Website screams of being the lowest cost provider in their industry. Your key contact is very difficult to get a hold of. It takes multiple phone attempts to get any kind of response from her. This, despite the fact that she actually reached out to you initially.
And that's another thing: She reached out to you. Why? It’s extremely rare to receive a phone call from a company looking for a quote. In this day and age of, “We’re happy with our current vendor” and Caller ID and voicemail, alarms go off when an incoming phone call starts with, “I'd like to speak with one of your salespeople.”
There are a lot of questions that you could and should ask a new potential customer. You should know about their company background and industry. You certainly want to know the story behind anything you are quoting on.
But there are even more questions on the "forbidden" list:
- "Why are you calling me?"
- "Did something happen between you and your current vendor?"
- "What kind of relationship do you have with your existing vendor base?"
- "Will you leave me for a better price?"
- "Will you value the work that I will do for you and reward me with your loyalty?"
Is this an order you want? Really?
Is this a customer you want? Really?
Customers do not come with warning labels on them. From the outside, it is difficult to tell the good witches from the bad witches. Unfortunately, you don’t know which is really a witch until after you take the plunge. All you have is your intuition and a few facts to go by.