Preparing meetings with ILC

Mark is a salesperson for a big company. His job is to find new clients and increase the revenue of all his clients by min. 10% every year. Last year, he didn’t make the mark, and is called in to explain. At risk of losing his job, he contacts us to help prepare the conversation.

The first thing we notice is that he is taking full blame for the situation. Due to personal problems, he had not been able to make as many visits to clients as he would have wanted to. But a look at his hours this year compared to the previous ones, shows that this does not account for the huge fall in progress. The previous years he had increased the revenue by 25-30%, and this year he had worked around 75% of the time. His revenue should have hit the 10% mark easily.

When we delve a little deeper, we notice that the company has drastically increased its prices, forcing clients to order less or somewhere else. Mark tell us this is irrelevant, because it is the job of the salesperson to make the sales, no matter what.

If this were the case, Mark is indeed in deep trouble. But I challenge his ‘rule’, asking him if the salesperson would also have to make his mark if the company tripled it prices, or made a defective product. While he agrees is it not possible to make the marks not matter what, we reformulate, it is the job of the salesperson to help make the company money.

And the best way to do that at this point, is to make sure the boss understands the impact of the price increase on the general revenue. After all, only salespersons are close enough to the clients to get feedback on why they are no longer ordering. With roleplay, we prepare Mark for his mission: showing his boss they are losing money due to the the price increase.

When it is time for his talk, Mark can face it prepared. Instead of a hanging head and sweaty palms, he will have a big smile and a huge pile of paper. We have prepared testimonials from big clients stating that they are buying with the competition due to the price increase, numbers about general sales in Belgium before and after the price increase, and as a grand finale: an interpolation about how much the company could have made without the price increase.

After the conversation, Marks reports that he felt calm and in control going into his meeting. His boss was pleasantly surprised and open to his suggestion, and not once did the conversation go to Marks low numbers. He walked out with apologies for the price increase, and the solid promise they would go down the next quarter. Six months later he reports he is now again making the marks with flying colors.

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