Educate yourself
October 26, 2021

3 Easy Ways To Tell If You’re Just A Vendor


Have you ever had a potential client that you’ve been prospecting, for what seems like forever, yet the relationship hasn’t gone anywhere? 

It might be because you’re just a badge and a logo. 

Let’s break out of this mold and be more. Below are a few ways to break down those barriers.  

1. Is your relationship based on a route? 

If your relationships are based on a route you may be going about this the wrong way, especially if you’re trying to cultivate long lasting relationships. Having a route is a rudimentary basis in connecting with prospective clients. This isn’t necessarily wrong but it’s merely the basics. 

If you don’t have a meaningful relationship with this prospect, if you can’t even remember who they are, what makes you think they will remember who you are or what you’re offering. As salesmen and saleswomen, we tend to forget how many options are out there. Ditch the route and find commonality (Pre-Approach).

2. Do you get the cold shoulder? 

In sales we are taught to overcome objections, but many times that can be perceived as clueless. If every time you approach a particular location and you happen to speak to the same person, you’re doing this wrong. Make sure every employee has an opportunity to meet you. You never know who’s going to be on vacation or out for other circumstances. Just because you know how vital your services are doesn’t mean they do; or, it doesn’t mean they even have a good grasp at the the totality of what you offer. 

In sales our biggest detractors are assumptions. Be strategic in each interaction, as you frequent a location multiple times, each “passing” should have an objective. I suggest slowly removing barriers. A good example is ditching the name tag. Be in the habit of exchanging names with something they can recall, logos, with something they can tangibly have, and business cards for an exchange of numbers. 

3. Is every interaction about potential work? 

If every interaction you have with your customers is about some particular sale, you’re doing it wrong. This is a mistake easily made by almost every good salesperson at least once because of external pressures. In sales, we are judged by Return on Investment (ROI) which tends to dictate our subsequent actions. But what if I told you to start analyzing ROI inversely.  

A typical ROI conversation mistakenly reads only the numbers on the page but generally lacks aggregated data. Things like forward movement through the COI pipeline is real ROI, but the time spent working on these types of projects can be ambiguous to judge. This not to say it’s not important for weekly reports and that these reports do not have a place, they of course do. The point is: go deeper. 

In business we do our best work with and for our friends. Write down ten friends that religiously give you work. If the ten people that arise aren’t who you thought they would be, then it’s time to re-evaluate your friends. Further, if this group doesn’t consist of whom you’ve been targeting then let’s try something new. 

A great way to break down barriers is to become a part of their community. This goes further than just joining a BNI with a COI, how about joining some organization that’s near and dear to you. 

Want to make an impression? 

Don’t just join, become a contributing member on a committee or team. This interconnection removes the hesitancy of reliance, knowing that you understand their needs of operation. Trusting in you becomes seconds nature. Set the standard! 

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Tuesday, October 26, 2021


Kenndrick Luckett-Epps