Calibration involves measuring the relation between the output and the value of the input. Coming from the printing industry, the need to calibrate the hardware and software was crucial for quality results.
The same is with our customers. We need to always ensure that the communication, information and relationship is calibrated so that we are all aligned.
The typical way we do this is to use a logical, left brain process through things such as plans of action, flow charts of processes, models showing hard results or spreadsheets outlining TCO. Whatever it is, the process is typically mechanical, linear and within our control or comfort zone.
There is a less obvious way of calibrating a client, however, which tends to be avoided. When we sense something is wrong, usually after the logical avenues have been exhausted,and because we can’t put our finger on it, we ignore it!
In order to calibrate at this level, it’s a matter of having the courage to address the elephant in the room. The deflection, stall or uncomfortable feeling is more than likely either politically or emotionally based.
There are five stages to consider when faced with a situation where your gut tells you something is not quite right but you just don’t know what to say:
Remember this by the ROPES rule:
- Recognise the fact that something is not quite right and identify the trigger
- Own up to yourself that you are going to raise the issue
- Pre-frame the issue by taking complete responsibility for raising it, even if you may be off the beaten track
- Explain what you believe the issue to be and why
- Sit silently for a response
You will then move forward faster.
How many opportunities have you sabotaged by not calibrating your customer?
Be Bold and Brilliant!
Bernadette McClelland is an expert in B2B sales conversations that drive value and deliver million dollar results. Contact her office now on 1300 935 226 or [email protected]