Several years ago while running a company in Las Vegas I met a manager at a bank that over time a relationship was formed and this manager, who was not a personal banker, eventually took care of all of our business banking needs personally because of the volume of business we did with the bank, anything we needed all we had to do was call her. One day I went to the bank to and she advised me that she would be leaving the bank in two weeks that she had taken a job as a bank manager at another bank. Well this would not do, having someone else taking care of our banking needs was unacceptable, I had come to trust and depend on her, and having built a relationship over years, I was not keen on working with anyone else. So when she moved to her new position at the other bank, I moved with her, transferring our company accounts to the new bank where she now worked. Many people might find this a little odd, bank manager leaves the bank, so you move your business accounts to the bank with her, this is a big deal, moving all of your funds from one bank to another, printing new checks, getting new credit cards, business check cards and anything else tied to those accounts, and people asked me why would you move banks just because the manager moved? My answer was because I have a relationship with that person, I trust them to take care of us, I don’t want someone else to take care of our banking, I have been using this person for years, and I am comfortable with them. I tell you about this because of the extreme importance of selling one’s self in business, and it doesn’t matter what kind of business you are in, it doesn’t matter what product or service that you are selling, someone else is doing the same thing, the odds are your product or service is not unique. When you bring in a new client, they are not buying your product, they are not buying your service, they are buying you. This bank manager had sold herself to me I was not buying the services the bank offered, I was buying her.
Several years ago I had a partner who decided to branch out and do some business on his own, behind my back ofcourse, and tried to do business with our clients off the radar. He didn’t leave the company to do this, he just tried to do side business behind my back, so he could keep all the money; so when he started reaching out to existing clients my phone started to ring, every single person that he contacted called me, all in all it was four or five of our biggest clients, and they were all asking what was going on with this guy, telling me he was calling them trying to do business behind my back, giving them a better deal, and everyone of them called me. Why would they call me and tell me this when they could have gotten a better deal and saved money? They did it because a relationship had been formed and they had trust in me, they could have left anytime and found a better deal somewhere, because there is always a better deal to be found, you can always find it for less somewhere else, then why not do it? Because relationships are important, people get a sense of security and it is more important sometimes than savings or cost.
Whenever I do business with someone or when I try to bring in a new client I’m not just pitching them on our product or service, I’m pitching them on me, I’m trying to sell me, because in the end that’s what’s going to help them make a decision to move forward or not. Do they want me, do they want to buy me, do they want to do business with me? So it’s extremely important to present yourself in a desirable way, to make it so that potential clients want to do business with you, and I can’t stress the importance of selling yourself. What you do has a reflection on the company, the product and service you are representing, whether you are the owner or principle or just a sales person, it doesn’t matter, your what they’re buying, your who their doing business with. People become comfortable and they don’t want change and that’s why I gave the example of the bank and transferring my company’s accounts due to the bank manager changing jobs. People want that sense of security, they want to know that the person they deal with will be there, and that that’s who will be taking care of them, not someone else, and not someone they don’t know. So it’s really important to remember when dealing with potential clients that everything that you do, everything that you say, is being considered as part of their decision making process, whether that is just an over the phone communication or an in person communication, choose your words carefully because it’s not just a product or service that they are buying, they are buying you. You need to be informative, you need to come across as someone who knows the product or service, but beyond that you need to come across as somebody who is trustworthy and honest and dependable. Because they’re looking for the whole package, they’re just not looking for the product and that’s where you come in, you’re a bigger product that the actual product itself. It doesn’t matter what you are selling, whether is a big ticket item or a small product or service, you are the actual product that is being sold.