I just had a meeting with a potential client and secured his business. I first met them three months ago - endless e-mails, consistent calls and a multiplex of meetings later, we agree on a contract.
He said something today which struck me and will probably resonate with me for the rest of my life and thus, I am inclined to share it with you. Negotiations took around 1 hour and after spewing as much sales spiel as I could spurn, my beloved client stood up and said you know Riky, I have a sales background too. A wry smile took over his face. I have looked at your numbers, he said, usually I would barter and crunch down and grill you but I have bought into you. I like you and so I want to make an investment in you, I believe in you.
People buy people.
I knew this, it had been rammed down my throat at my last sales job but its different when you see it play out in front of you for your own business. I did this and I probably took it for granted. The polite persistence I applied with gentle, masseuse-like pressure over the last few months had paid off. Yes my prices are cheaper than the big wig marketing companies but I don't think price alone swayed them. They bought into me and we now have a solid relationship enshrined in trust as well as ink.
Maybe it's because the Sicilians come from humble beginnings and back-to-the-roots type things like trust and the gentlemen's code still hold the most value in business.
Maybe it was the fact that I saved them a lot of money when they were looking to hire a company to do their social media. They were ready to hand over a four figure sum when I swept in and introduced a lovely eager Italian speaking intern who was willing to work for free to gain experience. A week later, they love her and are looking to send her off on courses to gain qualifications in the field. Maybe it was that show of selflessness and willingness to help without immediate financial gain. I love giving because I know it will pay dividends in the long run, most people might call it naivety but I understand how to build relationships - proven by today's victory.
We are pitching to supermarkets soon and the company is also expanding to the US and China.
I will endeavour to keep you in the loop with my Sicilian journey, but for now, Â saluti!