Home > Sales Techniques > Your face is your fortune!

Your face is your fortune!

Harish, the Business Head of Netwhizz Technologies, is presenting a portal solution to a client (MD & Sales Manager present). This is a follow-up meeting and the Tech Specialist is with him to provide inputs on the “how” bits of the solution. They are describing to the client, who is in the Education Services business, the component of the solution – how their portal concept would help to improve his online presence and the ways this investment would provide useful business returns.

The meeting has not been going well because the MD is not happy with the solution offered and he was not making any attempt to hide his displeasure. The solution seemed too plain and uninteresting. He didn’t see it giving him any of the expected results. He said that Netwhizz had not read his requirements well and were trying to palm off a second-hand solution.

The Bossman walked up to the white-board to explain couple of ideas he had thought up since the first meeting. He wanted to portal to be different from those of his competitors – it had to stand-out! He had thought up the flow (how a person visiting the website would interact with the elements seen there) and even conceived a catchy interface that would be in the form of a game. But it was not cast in stone, he said; if they could rework the idea with any other interesting concept which could make his portal interesting he was willing to play along.

ImageWhile his back was turned to the rest of the group Harish looked at his tech-man and made a funny face, as if to say that the client was talking utter rubbish. He had an expression of disinterest throughout and was not paying attention.

While the client was describing the process Harish butted in to say – “That is what I have been saying all this while.”

The MD had not seen the play of emotions on Harish face, but his deputy had. But when this intrusion came the MD stopped the discussions and said abruptly – “Harish, thank you for your time. I am not happy with what you have shown me. If you can think up something better do come back another day with it. But don’t waste my time. In the meantime I am talking to a few other service providers too”. With that he walked out of the Conference Room.

Harish’s face now looked like it had received a slap with a wet fish!

We often forget that even when we remain silent our face is telling a big story – what’s going on inside our head is presented through our eyes and expressions.

And our words reveal those thoughts and feelings. Harish could have remained silent and listened to what the MD way conveying, even if it was what he had presented earlier. Then at an opportune moment he could have presented it as confirmation of the client thoughts. After all, letting the client win is the big idea in Sales.

Harish should never have conveyed his disinterest and scorn through his expressions – even if he felt those were poor ideas it could have been said outside the room. But then any smart Sales Pro knows that there are no stupid ideas in this world and you get nowhere by calling your client a fool.

Beware! One wrong expression, or word, can cost you a fortune!

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  1. Anshuman
    April 1, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    Our face sometimes gives away what we are thinking without we having to say anything.Hence as you rightly say coach that it is very important not to give it away to our client otherwise it will be a lost deal.

    • JayadevM
      April 1, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      Bingo! You said it, Anshuman.

      Thank you for visiting the Sales Coach Blog.

  2. April 2, 2013 at 2:13 am

    It is amazing how irreverent and arrogant people have become. There is poetic justice in your excellent narration, not to speak of the moral.

    • JayadevM
      April 2, 2013 at 2:53 am

      Thank you, Umashankar.

  3. April 2, 2013 at 2:35 am

    Good commentary !! Congrats Jay..!

    • JayadevM
      April 2, 2013 at 2:53 am

      Thank you, Uday.

  4. April 2, 2013 at 4:37 am

    Hi Jayadev

    What you said is so very true. There are situations I have witnessed where the client tends to get all intimidating and tries to insult as well…This happens when the consulting organization is solely dependent on the client for business to survive and the client is aware of that. I really wonder how one should tackle that! In this case the reverse happens!

    • JayadevM
      April 2, 2013 at 8:27 am

      Sun Tzu and others who spoke about power have said that people who have complete control will rule. They rarely attempt moderation or have any consideration for the weaker party … they simply RULE!

      So the idea is not to give too much power over oneself to anyone, in personal or professional relationships. By doing so one gives others the opportunity to control them. They end up being puppets.

      I would suggest to the consultant to look for other clients in order to reduce the dependence of this client, but in the meantime keep showing the client what value s/he is adding to their business and that its his or her skill that is winning them business.

      If one is good there is no reason to get bulldozed … one needs to assert and give as much as one gets. No need to be aggressive and one never should be a doormat … its important to hold one’s ground and tell the other party to stay within limits of propriety.

      In summary, the need is three-fold: Reduce dependence, be assertive & get client to accept value offered.

      Thank you for reading, Jayashree

  5. April 2, 2013 at 8:21 am

    So true in the hospitality industry too Jay! Good one again!

    • JayadevM
      April 2, 2013 at 9:12 am

      Thank you, Jamy

  6. Kailash
    April 2, 2013 at 9:16 am

    ‘Patience’ is the million $ word.
    Not only in sales but in many of the roles you have to listen/respect your clients (external or internal). They might have the most dumbest expectation from your application/product but there are ways to handle it and that is basic of any negotiation.

    • JayadevM
      April 2, 2013 at 9:45 am

      Absolutely, Kailash.

      Let me hasten to add that there no “dumb” expectations – such words should not be used in the context of customer expectations. There can only be expectations that can be met and those that can’t be met!

      But patience and communication are key skills in our game. It can make or break the business.

  7. April 3, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    Spot on..

    • JayadevM
      April 3, 2013 at 5:57 pm

      Thank you, enidhi. Glad that you could stop by to read.

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