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When Opportunities Arise, Do Clients Think of You?

The Situation

Phil is a sales rep for a large painting contractor that specializes in hotels and motels. He checks with his clients regularly to be sure that they are happy and his service is first-rate. Right now, he’s making the rounds, offering a promotional opportunity for hotels willing to sign long-term contracts.

Missed Out

Phil calls on Diane, who is responsible for hotel room décor for a regional chain. Her office is located in one of her company’s larger properties. As he walks in, Phil notices workpeople installing new wood flooring in the lobby area. Phil’s company has a supplementary business that installs wood floors, although it doesn’t come up very often for hotels or motels.

Phil: Diane, why didn’t you call me for a bid if you wanted wood floors for your lobby?
Diane: I thought you were strictly a painting company. I didn’t know you could handle this kind of work.
Phil: But, Diane, it’s part of decorating. We don’t do a lot of wood floors for your industry, but I wish you had asked me about it. We have a lot of experience.
Diane: I didn’t know that!
Phil: It’s in our brochure. It’s on our website. I must have mentioned it.
Diane: Phil, nothing personal, but I’m already your customer. I rarely visit your site. Sorry. I just didn’t think about you when we decided to remodel.

How Could Phil Have Gotten That Call?

Phil could kick himself for being complacent about this client. He could have sent Diane updated brochures and e-mails with links to the Web site to remind her of all his company’s services. However, a Q4 needs-based approach to selling would have helped the client to consider him as resource beyond painting. What Q4 collaborative skills apply?

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