This week, the JUMP! Bangkok team got a very special treat. We all owe a big thank you to Joel Lin, who took the time to fly down to Bangkok on behalf of Sandler Training to share some invaluable wisdom on sales and partnership development. He offered us Sandler’s methodology, which shifts the frame of thinking about sales from a transaction to an opportunity for honest and open relationships. It was a wonderful and enlightening day for all of us.
Many businesses believe that closing as many deals as possible is best practice. There is a desire to create unlimited “buy in” for the business’s product offerings. At JUMP! we have not always avoided promoting without intention. We have an honest passion for what we represent and it can be difficult to navigate how to spread that passion with intentionality. Who wouldn’t want to create transformative change in the lives of youth around the world? Of course, everyone needs a little JUMP! in their lives! As much as we’d like to believe this was true, it’s really important to judge whether the fit is right. We can’t expect to partner with everyone, nor should we expect everyone to want to partner with us.
The training painted a picture of the first interaction with a potential buyer akin to the start of a love story. If that guy your friend set you up with were to sit down at your first coffee date and launch into a monologue meant to convince you of all the reasons why he would be a better boyfriend than anyone else out there, you might walk out before your latte even arrived. And maybe have some questions for the friend that set you up. A good first date should be all about asking questions and getting a feel for whether or not the two of you might be good for each other. No one should be trying to convince anyone into anything.
The same goes for that first meeting with a potential new partner. That ‘first date’ should be all about asking questions and genuinely listening for the answers to see if it makes sense to maybe pursue a partnership. One that works for both parties. If the goal is just to get a signed contract, whatever it takes, you’re setting yourself up for disaster later in the relationship. This is the case for all the relationships we start, why would it be different in a business relationship?
By the end of the training, we felt reassured of our approach in terms of how we treat our partners. What other organizations may call “clients” we see on a level playing field. It’s important to our organizational culture that we co-create unique experiences for our participants with our partners. We like to focus on building relationships first and foremost and figuring out what works best for all parties–if anything. We also came away from the day with new tools for assessing the value of a new partnership, how to navigate the pursuit, and understanding best practices for working with individuals with varying personalities.