As the negotiation over the US budget and border security drones on, I thought it was interesting that the two political parties formed a committee of 9 Democrats and 8 republicans to come up with a compromise. Is this a true form of PLAYER SUBSTITUTION? Not really because in this example Speaker Pelosi would still need to bring it before the congress and if she doesn’t like the bill she won’t and President Trump still needs to sign the bill into law and if he doesn’t like it he won’t sign.
My point is how many times have you been working with a prospect and the decision maker gets promoted, transferred or left the company and all of a sudden, you’re working with someone new? This is PLAYER SUBSTITUTION. Back in my broadcasting days as the General Sales Manager of a TV station, I’d call on large Wall Street advertising agencies. I made a few deals in order to get a larger share of a client’s advertising budget on the next purchase and you guessed it, when the next purchase time came around, the former buyer was no place to be found and of course the new buyer didn’t know anything about what was promised. This was pure PLAYER SUBSTITUTION. It disrupts the relationship and opens up new concessions when the deal is done or almost done. Of course, in my example, the buyer wanted to repeat the former purchase and I learned quickly that I had made a bad deal for me and the television station.
When PLAYER SUBSTITUTION happens, you have to go back to the beginning and start your process all over again. I know it hurts to say that but if you don’t, you’re assuming that the new person is coming into your sales process where the old person left off and that may or may not be the case. You have to withdraw all concessions and withdraw any discounts you’ve given. Even if you just inked a deal and a new player is inserted into your process you need to stop what you’re doing and start all over again. Now, I know what you’re thinking, “software is non-refundable” or “I have a signed contract”. Yes, that’s true but a new player’s mental attitude is to create immediate value to justify their promotion or hiring and often this means throwing out what the old player did. By spending a little time and going back to the beginning to resell and re-establishing your trusted adviser status, it’ll go a long way in improving your support process, your implementation and keep the customer your customer.
Regarding the current budget and border security negotiation, the only true PLAYER SUBSTITUTION will come at the ballot box in a future election. Some of our elected officials are talking about impeachment and we’ll have to wait and see how that pans out. Until an official player substitution is made expect to see the negotiating win-win range widen and narrow, concessions being made and withdrawn, new demands to be made and negotiating power ebbing and flowing between the two parties.
About the author: Bob Tobey spent over 20 years teaching managers, customer support and sales people how to be better at their craft. These blogs are intended to help the I-BN partner community improve their business.