We Earn the Right.
We make no assumptions about our customers or their needs. Instead, we build relationships & establish our credibility by listening and providing results.
There is an assumption about “Earning the Right” as a value and it is that we Earn the Right with prospects when we go through the process of business development. We are putting our time in. We are building relationships. We are doing Right Things, all with the purpose of climbing the “relational ladder”. Most importantly, we are aware that we are really trying to change the way our prospects react to our business development approach. But most people that go through the stereotypical sales process do not Earn the Right.
Way back in the day at Placers 1.0, my father pulled all of the leadership, sales, and marketing folks into a series of meetings to study our sales process. During one session we white boarded all of the questions we asked prospects. This was quite a list as you might imagine! Most of these questions were inside out, not Outside-In®! We were qualifying and asking questions that served us. “How much do you spend on staffing?” “What is your budget?” “How many will you hire?” “How many temps do you use?” and so on. Not all bad questions. But they were questions that we asked before we Earned the Right in the relationship to do so!
Let me say that again in another way. We took some action (in this case, sales questions) before we had Earned the Right. In sales situations we try very hard to make sure the customer lets us know when we have Earned the Right. We ask to come back and survey. We let prospects know that we will not ask questions until we have Earned the Right to do so. This is very Outside-In®. This is how I want to buy. Earning the Right is about changing our natural instincts to do things that are better.
Over time I have come to understand that Earning the Right is about much more than sales. Earning the Right fits in nicely with our other values. We have an obligation to get to know our values and to embrace what they mean as we work each day. Our culture is relaxed but productive. Our culture is about results in your role, and our culture affords all of us with many privileges that should never be taken for granted. So every day and week we must Earn the Right to keep our privileges in balance, and to make sure we are adding as much value as we are receiving.
Specifically, choosing how to spend your time, working on special projects, doing community service, working remotely, having flexibility to meet repair staff or to work from home all come with tremendous responsibility. Results must be a part of Earning the Right. We cannot ask questions of prospects before it is time anymore than we can take advantage of our cultural privileges!