In sales and relationship management, there is so much subtlety. As an example, if you were a prospect listening to a salesperson, which would you rather hear?
- "You have an issue, and we can fix it."
- "Working together, we could resolve this issue.”
Even though they sound similar, answer 2 is much better. Why? In general, no one wants to be fixed. The prospect isn’t hiring someone to fix them; they are hiring someone to work with them to improve their situation.
Similarly, if you were a customer working with an Account Manager, which would you rather hear?
- Look at what we’ve done for you…”
- Look at the value we have created together.”
Again, answer 2 is much better.
In answer 1, we are taking credit for the value that’s been created in the relationship. When we attempt to do this, it might sound like this,
“We were able to fix your broken processes, implement a superior solution, and make you more efficient.”
What’s the problem with this? To some people, this could sound self-centered, arrogant, or even insulting. It also insinuates that only one of the parties helped to drive the outcome.
In answer 2, we are getting credit for the value we’ve helped to create. When we position the message effectively this way, it would sound more like this,
“Together, we were able to seamlessly implement a new solution and streamline some key processes, which led to efficiency improvements of approximately 10%.”
To most people, this message sounds much more partnership-oriented and collaborative. This phrasing is also the truth – we cannot drive business outcomes for the customer on our own. It requires us and the client to work together. If the customer didn’t dedicate the resources to the partnership, for example, none of the work would have happened!
It’s a simple change, but going from, “We did this for you…” to “Together, we did this…” will improve your likelihood of getting credit for your efforts and results.