A couple of weeks ago I was invited to participate in a joint meeting with a client and their customer. We recently had a big win with their customer and results of the service had been good. We were very confident going into the meeting as I'd personally worked with the team on the opportunity.
They had briefed me a couple of days before and they had a very solid and optimistic agenda.
There were seven of us in the room James (KAM), Dave (Sales Director), me and four from their customers side. It was all set up. The extended part of this deal could be worth seven figures and we had all the momentum to believe it would.
What I didn’t know was how my client would respond next.
The client began to challenge the results my client had presented and the deal that was on the table. Their concerns were reasonable and easily answered.
But, before I could open my mouth Dave spoke and the first words from his mouth were.
I couldn't take a glass of water fast enough to hide the gasped expression I had and neither could James.
Their client looked shocked and I knew I had to act to reign things in and provide some context. The arguments began as Dave began to put all his points across. He wouldn’t shut up and refused to listen.
In the end, no deal, no opportunity and no come back for at least a few months. Worst of all a damaged relationship.
What happened? Pride with arrogance happened.
Although I do believe a small measure of pride can be healthy in the right context. I've seen too many times the pride of arrogance sabotage many sales professionals.
· The belief that they always know better than the customer.
· They take advice as something to pass on to someone else rather than themselves.
· They’re unable to see his/her weaknesses and take constructive criticism.
· Inability to see the power of what is right rather than who is right.
All traits of high pride individuals and you'll find them everywhere. I don't say this to exclude myself because like me in different circumstances we all have shared similar traits.
"The measure of a person who knows themselves is their ability to balance the confidence of their ability while acknowledging their weaknesses."
If you find you fall prey to any of the traits above in internal meetings, customer conversations or other where your core belief is you know better. Now's the time to get aware because there is a better way to lead and a better way to engage with people in disagreement.
"Pride will get you noticed but it won’t give you influence."
After that meeting I sat down and gave some pretty strong feedback to help aid a better way forward. The one advice I gave was right for him in the moment and was something a wise man said to me in my prideful teenage years.
"Pride in arrogance always looks down and if you're always looking down you'll only ever be able to go as far as where you're feet are. If you look up you'll more easily see where others are and join them where they are."
Too wise for my 17 year old ears at the time but he got it.
So what happened with that deal?
Well you can find out in this post HERE
If you're a key account manager, sales leader of consultant responsible for and concerned with existing customer retention and key customer growth send me a LinkedIn request and get connected to my customer growth email series and mailing list. You can start the process of learning a new framework of thinking to customer growth today. www.jermaineedwards.com
Founder of the Key Account Hack System - New Key Account thinking that transforms customer relationships and creates predictable sales growth.