The KYC – know your customer – rule is quite well known in the finance world, but it applies to all industries and certainly applies to our technology and telecommunications equipment industry. One of our most successful BDM’s in her team shared one of her very successful sales experiences with me a little while ago and I share this with her permission.
She is known in the industry for her skill to close sales that many attempted on prior occasions, even sales to clients that have run out of IT budget or were notoriously undecisive etc.etc.
This was the case with this client, the head office of a well know Home and Hardware business with several branches. Several prior BDM’s have tried to get this sale over the line, it was well known that the client had an antiquated system which did not fulfil requirements, needed constant repairs and handsets that have well and truly seen end of life. Unfortunately, the IT budget for this replacement seems to always be used up for other critical infrastructure, and the IT team were at that stage experts in nursing the old equipment, so this incredibly important part of much needed hardware has been overlooked for many years to the increasing frustration of their staff.
The client required quite a substantial size phone system with their 70 + administrative staff, they also could do with state of the art conferencing equipment, handsets and handsfree headsets amounting to just over $120,000.
Our BDM was fully briefed by the IT team to the status of their budget, there was well and truly a minimal amount available, and to any other sales person this would have meant goodbye sale. This tenacious BDM however invested quite a bit of time getting to know the various departments and team leaders in the office, going through their procedures, mission statement, HR and the all important procurement and sales team. The staff without fail all voiced their frustration with the antiquated phone system, this indirectly also lead to quite a staff turnover as some very experienced sales members got frustrated with the difficulty to get their call numbers up with responding sales.
She then arranged a meeting with the HR department and CFO. On the agenda was one specific question: what does it cost the client/HR to replace a team member, from advertising through to having a fully functional team member. The costs were quite astronomical, replacing a staff member was equal to a full year’s salary for a person earning between $70 and $80 k a year, as were most of their outbound sales team. Neither were prepared for the next question though! X asked the HR team how many members have voiced their opinion regarding the phone equipment and how many actually left with this one of their major concerns in the past 18 months. The answer was at least 4, although the turnover in this team has been considerably higher the past 3 years. X did not have to spell out the ramifications or do the sums for the CFO, at a cost of $280k at bare minimum replacing staff, who might have been retained were this very essential equipment for their trade been of the highest standards? Then the $120,000 which will be an operational expense through the Loanezi finance agreement for a state of the art phone system and associated equipment which will future proof the business for quite some time, is unquestionably the way to go.
Which is exactly what was done, she had the sale of the month at the very least, the client was incredibly impressed with the way she presented the solution, which was because she spent the time getting to know her client.
Well done again!