A good friend called me a few weeks ago saying he had a client he wanted me to meet for a potential business relationship. My friend is in the diamond business, so my first reaction was that he probably did not understand the type of work I do. However, he insisted I speak with this person as soon as possible. He introduced us via email, then after a brief phone call, we decided to meet the next time he was in town. I am really glad I took the time to make this new connection.
We met for coffee and immediately hit it off. It turns out that this individual is the CEO of a company that provides sales-effectiveness software that helps sales teams to grow revenues. Our discussion centered on the selling process, specifically on how much of that process is controlled by the sales rep and how much by the prospect.
He shared with me research findings that show focusing on the things that are within your sales team’s control increases sales wins dramatically. The two primary factors that a sales rep controls are the frequency and skill of sales efforts, and by proactively managing these, real sustainable growth is possible for the entire sales organization. His software helps sales reps and their managers achieve this.
The real moral of the story is never refuse a meeting with a referral without at least an initial discussion. There may be lucrative opportunities hiding where you least expect them. If you reject an introduction out of hand, you might be closing the door on a valuable new connection.
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