Learn from our experts on how they judge their successes and handle their failures.
I have a simple process to determine if a customer is worth pursuing. If there are enquiries after the 1st or 2nd meetings, I categorise the customer as a “potential” who may try GAC for the first time. This is not a business win but a critical stage where future repeat business may be considered.
I consider success to be when there is a contract or agreement in place within 1-2 years. But today’s business is driven by uncertainty. Nothing is set in stone. So I called it “temporary” success rate.
Jimmy Liak - Group Marketing Manager, based in Singapore
I always get something out of a meeting. It might not be direct port call nominations, but nearly all the customers I see are interested in hearing what we can offer them, even if they are currently working with our competitors.
After my meetings, I normally follow up with a phone call (something that is not done enough, in my opinion) or an email. If that prompts extra enquiries or questions, then I see it as success. And if the customer contacts you before you make your follow-up call or mail, even better.
Peter Schau – Group Marketing Manager, based in Copenhagen
I have learned not to give up. Life isn’t easy and neither is business. But it is enormously rewarding when you finally win a new customer that you have worked hard for. We face huge competition from efficient competitors. That makes our business life tough but also makes it interesting and challenging. It should drive us to think clearly and increase our efforts to offer something more, something unique, something that will add value and will raise our business relationship with a customer to a higher level.
Maria Angelidou – Group Marketing Manager, based in Athens
Bad news can often provide an opportunity. For example, if we perform poorly, the way we handle the follow-up with the customer may open new doors. Clients want to see transparency - when we handle something negative well, they will remember that in the future.
We have all had bad sales visits (I know I have) but I treat them as educational and aim to learn from them. Sometimes it may be the result of not researching the contact/company closely enough before a first meeting. Tools we have at our disposal such as company websites, LinkedIn, WhatsApp, can be used for research to avoid awkward moments.
Andrew Boaz – Group Marketing Manager, based in Houston