Time to get personal - by Chuck Sink

July 03, 2020 - Front Section
Chuck Sink

Learn a valuable sales lesson during the pandemic outbreak. Get to know every client and even your prospects on a personal level. It’s amazing what opportunities you may find for new business. And remember, “new business” is not synonymous with “new client.” I was taught this by business owners early in my selling career but I didn’t learn it very well until I became a business owner.

“Some Web Guy” - A couple of our clients paused services or cut marketing costs at the early stage of the business shutdown. Thankfully, our business has remained steady thanks primarily to current clients expanding their needs. In particular, I got to know one of them for the first time on a personal level, chief to chief.

As if by accident, this longtime client, after years of delegating his firm’s marketing to a manager, found out what we really do. In his mind “Chuck Sink Link” was a cost of doing business – just “some web guy” or “someone who hosts our website.” This client (the CEO, not the manager point-of-contact) got on the phone with me after a potential dispute and suddenly the relationship has taken off, and so has new business – for both of us! We finally know each other!

The client mentioned is a leading specialty manufacturer in Connecticut. Through our very first live conversation, the client discovered that we do scalable eCommerce websites, digital advertising and social media marketing. He then treated us like a business partner instead of “the web guy” and we’ve since built an eCommerce website together that generated about $50,000 in sales the first two days. Now we’re shifting gears to build additional marketing campaigns.

The Deeper Conversations
I’ve had deep discussions with several other clients during this pandemic that’s fortified our mutual support. Together we are keeping busier than ever while being deeply concerned about other companies that need to make difficult decisions. The wisdom and compassion we have shared with each other are among the intangible values I can’t put a price on and wouldn’t do without.

Hopefully, we’ll remember the really important aspects of work relationships as so many of us are forced physically apart for a while longer. It’s a great time for discovering who your customers and suppliers really are and how you can help each other get better at what you both do.

Chuck Sink is the owner of Chuck Sink Link, Contoocook, N.H.

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