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Rohn's law can be applied to all situations and it can be particularly useful in pursuing the spirit of
creative negotiation. Have some fun with it. Anyone with teenagers will immediately understand how
effective it can be”teenagers exercise the Law of Ten Options on a daily basis.

Negotiation is not a game with a single objective but rather one step in building effective long-term
relationships. It is only one of the ten steps in your Sequential Model but it can be the pivotal point in
your relationship and your success. During negotiation you forge an agreement”like taking the
relationship from a courtship to a marriage. "Will you marry me?" may not be your actual request but
your final confirmation (the five magic words) certainly suggests the commitment and responsibilities of
a marriage.

One of the surest ways to successful negotiation is to be well prepared. It's essential, but planning is
often overlooked in the excitement of approaching the finish line. It's like training and conditioning to run
a marathon but then running out of steam at the 24-mile mark. So many salespeople come close to the
finish line but fail to complete the race because of a lack of training and preparation. We cannot afford to
ignore the dire consequences of inadequate preparation. Planning is not an isolated step of your
Sequential Model but is a prerequisite to successful graduation of each and every step”including
creative negotiation.

The skills outlined in this chapter will help you to build confidence and reach your business and
personal objectives. Understand not only how to negotiate, but when. Review the five principles regularly
and continue to fuel your confidence to not only run a good marathon, but to finish it.
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Notes
1. Achievers International. Creative Negotiations Workshop. 1989.




Congratulations, you have now completed Step #8
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Chapter 11: Action Plan: Implementation
Congratulations on your successful negotiation. The customer said yes, you reached a win-win-win-win
agreement, and now it's time to take action. This is what you have been working so hard to achieve, the
opportunity to showcase your company and your product, and to deliver on all the benefits and
promises you presented earlier. However, in many ways, your job is just beginning. Just as in a
marriage the, "I do" should be, "I will do."Your customers have high expectations”don't let them down.
In fact, the more they spend, the higher their expectations. People expect their purchases to be perfect
and hassle-free.

Surprisingly, the details of an effective action plan are often overlooked in the euphoria of finally
anchoring the deal. Nevertheless, your role now is to quarterback all the activities necessary for a
smooth, seamless implementation rather than race to the car, dig out a calculator and excitedly work
out your commission and/or bonus. It's important that you identify and delegate responsibilities to
ensure a timely, hassle-free delivery of your solution. A big part of what your customer just purchased is
peace of mind about a worry-free delivery. Customers need to feel they have made a wise, intelligent
investment. Initially they may feel a little uneasy, insecure about their decision. After all, you have
convinced them to embrace change.

My People Need to Talk to Your People
All parties must understand their roles and responsibilities and work in harmony for a smooth
implementation. It's a good idea for both you and your customer to identify all parties involved in the
implementation: "This is what I'll do, within this time frame, and these are the people to involve." Parties
involved may include management, operations, accounting, manufacturing, engineering,
shipping/receiving, inventory control, technical people, delivery people, and so on. You can't do it alone,
so draw on the strengths of your internal customers and your customer's people to ensure a smooth,
speedy, hassle-free implementation. With all parties working in harmony, the story of these four people
becomes a reality: [1]



WHAT WENT RIGHT?
This is the story of four people: Everybody, Anybody, Somebody, and Nobody. There was an
important job to be done and Nobody was sure that Anybody would do it but instead Somebody did
it. Nobody got angry because it was Anybody's job. There was no need for Nobody to blame
Anybody”Somebody did the job Anybody could have done. Nobody made excuses but
Everybody was satisfied.




Communication at the best of times is fraught with uncertainty, biases, and individual perceptions.
Effective communication is a topic onto its own. Poor communication often results in costly oversights
and mistakes. Communication is a very delicate, fragile process. As responsible sales entrepreneurs,
we need to ensure an effective exchange of information.

For larger, more sophisticated deals, I suggest both parties safeguard themselves against the normal
pitfalls of communication and consider drafting a letter of intent or a letter of agreement. I don't mean a
legal document that requires hiring a lawyer at $50 for every three minutes, I simply mean putting a
letter together on your company letterhead outlining the logistics of the deal. Who is doing what and by
when? You and your customer can review it for accuracy and completeness, signing your respective
copies.
Part of your responsibilities also include avoiding, or at least minimizing, user error. To do so you must
evaluate your customer's abilities, technical or otherwise, and recommend training if necessary.
Research suggests that up to 30% of the time customers are wrong. Reported product and service
problems resulted from customer error, product misuse, or failure to read the instructions. Customers
do screw up, but as professionals we have to allow them to maintain dignity. It takes a strong attitude to
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let certain things go while biting your tongue. You must also make your customer aware of the break-in
period, the time required to fully appreciate the benefits of your product or service. This may not be
apparent initially. True happiness will only come once everyone is using your product correctly.



Tim Commandment #8
Create an action plan.
Ask: What are my implementation strategies?




Achievers International. Situational Selling Workshop. 1989.
[1]
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Customers Don't Shoot the Messenger
We no longer live in times where they behead the messenger, although I'm sure that on occasions
customers are tempted. In the eyes of customers, the salesperson is ultimately responsible for seeing
that the product or service is delivered when promised. If problems arise when filling an order (and this is
not unusual), customers should be informed promptly. The progress of the order or any possible back
orders should also be monitored and communicated to the customer so that if something goes wrong
alternative arrangements can be made. Customers may not jump for joy at the news, but they will
certainly appreciate the opportunity to take corrective action.
Customers can become disgruntled for a number of reasons, most of which turn out to be minor when
handled properly, tactfully, and in a timely manner. Dealing with panic-stricken customers demanding
instant satisfaction can be an emotionally draining exercise. These intolerable nuisances, if left
unresolved, can easily and quickly escalate into a mountainous catastrophe. Unfortunately, human
beings tend to focus on the negative”what went wrong versus what went right. Your phone call will go a
long way to prevent the proverbial poop from hitting the fan. Be the bearer of bad news before your
customers call you. When you call they will be easier to manage, but when they call it's too late”they're
in no mood to listen to your blamefest.
Monitoring order processing and other after-sales activity is critical to developing a partnership. A
Purchasing Magazine study indicated that failure to follow through after the sale was the second-biggest
complaint of buyers. What was the first one? Talking too much.

Many specific activities are essential to ensure customer loyalty and satisfaction. Sales entrepreneurs
must be jugglers. Continue to build trust, monitor proper usage, assist in servicing the account, and
provide expert guidance and assistance. Adopting an empathetic attitude to a real or imaginary problem
cannot be overemphasized.
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Notes
1. Achievers International. Situational Selling Workshop. 1989.




Congratulations, you have now completed Step #9
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Chapter 12: Follow-Up: You Never Call or Write
Anymore
Overview
Have you ever heard that line? I have. Your parents and friends sometimes say it to you, but your
customers have a different way of saying it. Customers complain with their feet; they walk. If a customer
ever says it or suggests it, you had better pay attention. It could be the death knell for your relationship.

Effective follow-up after confirmation and successful negotiation means going that little bit extra for your
customer. The little things often move a relationship forward. The result is a win-win-win-win. The win for
you is anchoring a solid client, a source of referrals, and second-selling opportunities within an existing
account. When we treat our customers with respect and appreciation we feel good about ourselves. At
the same time, our customers feel good about working with us. A long-term business relationship is
forged.

It's a fact that customers will forget you within 27 days. Your parents might even forget you every couple
of months. You have worked hard through Steps #1 to #9 and now it's time to use all your resources
and tools to protect your newly acquired asset. You must build a fortress of loyalty to keep the watchful
eye of your competitors out. I have often said that getting the first sale is easy. It's getting the repeat
orders that truly validates your performance as a sales entrepreneur.

Keeping your customer happy and satisfied requires conscious effort. It is part of the ongoing process of
assessment, feedback, and reassessment that makes you continually responsive to your customer. It's
difficult to coordinate the pursuit of new customers while servicing and growing existing accounts. I think
this anonymous quote says it well: "A relationship will deteriorate over time. A natural tendency of any
relationship (business or marriage) is toward erosion of sensitivity and attentiveness. It requires a solid
effort against the forces of decline." A powerful statement indeed.
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Too often we take our good customers (As and Bs) for granted. They are the ones who are easy to deal
with, rarely giving us trouble. They even provide positive word-of-mouth, recommending our product or
service to associates and friends. Because they give us little trouble and are low-maintenance, we often
forget about them. "Out of sight, out of mind." Sales entrepreneurs realize the adage: "Business goes to
those who want it and work hard for it, and stays with those who work even harder and show
appreciation for it." You must guard against complacency and overconfidence. Don't become vulnerable
to your competition.
Here's something I bet you haven't even thought about, much less analyzed. What is your customer
attrition rate? Surprisingly, most businesses experience a 10“30% attrition rate, but few salespeople
are aware of the impact customer erosion has on a business. Unfortunately, experience tells us that the
"customer for life" concept is only a myth. Customers are only for a measurable period of time. The goal
is to build loyalty to have (and to hold) as much of the customer's attention as realistically possible, for
as long as possible. Buyers are selective today and can be frighteningly fickle. The fact is that by not
appreciating or expressing gratitude for their business, 10“30% of your customers will leave or at least
reduce the frequency of business they do with you. Ironically, you probably wrestle with, "Where do I
find new business?" Yet the easiest and most inexpensive method is not to lose them in the first place.

Price is rarely, if ever, the culprit for high attrition. In the majority of situations, it is an attitude of
indifference that drives customers away, motivated by a competitor who is more than happy to shower
them with lots of attention during the courting phase. Your customers want to feel that they are
appreciated and valued by you, not merely seen as a dollar transaction. I'm not suggesting you can ever
eliminate attrition, but you can proactively minimize its debilitating effect on the growth of your business.
Just as little things can turn a customer off, little things will turn a customer on.

Protecting your customer base is a top priority. It's the difference between selling hard or selling smart.
Research tells us that it's five to six times more expensive to replace a customer than to keep one. I
suppose it's no different than divorce. So, how do you show your customers that you think of them often
and that you love 'em? In a relationship there is only one way to say, "I love you," but there are
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countless ways of showing it. Speaking for my gender, males are known for not communicating feelings
or expressing emotions. In relationships, we don't tell our spouse or significant other, "I love you" often
enough. The response is more like this; "Honey, you know I love you and if that changes, you'll be the
second to know." Your mate appreciates hearing, "I love you," just as your customers need to hear and
see your appreciation for their business.
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Ten Follow-Up Letters
Don't underestimate the power of the humble thank-you note. Thank-you notes clearly indicate to the
recipients that you've made an effort to think about them and thank them for their support. Consider the
last time you received a handwritten invitation or note of thanks. Feels good, doesn't it? You can use
thank-you notes for a variety of occasions. They confirm your commitment and help solidify your
business relationship, making it more difficult for your competitors to replace you. Use handwritten
notes for just about any situation or occasion. I offer you these ten suggestions for follow-up notes. Feel
free to modify or tailor these notes to your specific situation. I offer these as guidelines only.
1. After a purchase. Thank you for giving me the opportunity of providing you with the
benefits of our product. I am confident that you will be happy with your investment and I
will endeavor to offer excellent follow-up service. I do appreciate your support.
2. A first meeting. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me. I enjoyed our visit and
the opportunity to learn more about your business. I look forward to our next meeting.
3. Telephone contact. Thank you for taking the time to chat with me on the
telephone.You'll soon receive all the information we discussed. I look forward to
following up with you next week to discuss the details of our proposal and the
possibility of a win-win agreement.
4. After a presentation/demonstration. Thank you for the opportunity to showcase our
products and services to you (and to your committee). My presentation highlighted the
key benefits of our product and outlined the mutual benefits of an association of our
firms. I look forward to our follow-up meeting next Wednesday at 2:30 PM. See you
then.
5. A turndown or they buy from someone else. Thank you for taking the time to
analyze my proposal. I regret being unable, at this time, to demonstrate our
capabilities. However, we are constantly responding to our customers' expectations and
to new trends, developments, and changes in our industry. Thus, I will keep in touch
with the hope that in the near future we will be able to do business.
This classy tactic clearly shows your professionalism and encourages the customer to
seriously consider you for next time. A great tactic to become #2.
6. A gatekeeper. Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to meet with Mr. Smith.
Our meeting was productive and there may be an opportunity for our companies to do
business. I will let you know how things work out.
7. A referral. Thank you for the valuable referral. I look forward to meeting with Ms. Jones.
You can rest assured that I will exercise the same level of professionalism that I have
with you. I will let you know how things work out.
8. A turndown but they offer to give a referral. Thank you for your generous offer to
provide me with a referral. I am saddened to hear your immediate plans do not include
us but I will keep you posted on new services that may benefit you.
9. An anniversary. Thank you. It's with pleasure that I send this note on the one-year
anniversary of your patronage. Your support is appreciated”clients like you contribute

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