This weekend we had seats to the new Andrew Lloyd Webber Broadway show, School of Rock. Our son has watched the original movie around a dozen times and didn't think there was the slightest possibility that the show would be as good as the movie. Did the show meet expectations? I'll share that in a moment, but first, let's discuss the dynamic of the show versus the movie and compare that to an ongoing sales challenge. While salespeople have expectations for meeting outcomes and sales results, prospects have expectations too - for the meetings, salespeople, products, services, prices and terms that a company will provide at various times during your sales cycle. In the case of movie versus show, there is a better analogy to strategic account management and even customer service.
With an existing customer, you represent the movie, School of Rock. You are known, there is history, and the customer knows what to expect, both good and bad.
When you schedule a call or meeting to upgrade, upsell, or simply renew your contract, you represent the Broadway show, School of Rock. Will you be the same or worse, will your prices go up and will your service go down? It could be extremely difficult for you to improve upon the performance you already provided or impress them further.
On the other hand, your competition, finally getting their chance to compete for the business, comes in with guns blazing. They represent a different show altogether so your customer or client has more of an open mind, lower expectations and becomes easier to impress.
How did School of Rock, the Broadway show compare to the movie? They rocked, of course. They brought a raw energy to the stage that could never be achieved in the original movie. It would be quite the accomplishment for the Broadway version to impress our nearly 14-year old son, but they pulled it off. He even walked away with a School of Rock guitar pick, tossed into the audience by the Dewey Finn character.
How can you exceed expectations with your existing customers? Step it up, bring more energy, bring greater creativity, bring your best ideas, and commit to completely wowing your existing customer. If you don't, your competition will!