Troy Waugh on Sales and Keeping Clients

Troy_waugh At the conference, I repeatedly had to grab a pen to write down notes on new ideas I was hearing.  Finally, I fired up my laptop and started typing because the info was coming in so fast. The conference was "Relationship Marketing and Business Development in the Professional Services Sector" on November 3 in New York.

It was jointly presented by the PM Forum, a global organization of 3,000 in-house marketers in the law, accounting and consulting fields (I'm the regional director for North America), and and the Business Development Institute, the leading provider of event-based business development programs to the professional services, technology, publishing and media industries.

Troy Waugh, CEO of the Rainmaker Academy in Nashville, gave the keynote speech, saying that the most important selling technique is listening. He described the five levels of listening:

  1. Lowest: ignoring the speaker; this is downright insulting.  This is where the associate comes in and the partner never raises his head up from working at his desk.
  2. Next from the bottom: pretend listening, like the time Troy's daughter said to him, "Mom just told me she wants to be cremated." And Troy answered, "Fine, get her hat and let's go."
  3. Next: selective listening.  "It's as if you're listening to someone speak French and only catch the words you know," Troy said.
  4. Second best: active listening.  We know this as taking in what the speaker says, and replaying back what you've heard.  This is very effective.
  5. Best: empathetic listening.  "This is where you listen with your heart, and make people feel cared for."  This kind of listening brings in new business.

He also pointed out why clients leave professional firms:

  • 7% leave because the price is too high.
  • 15% leave because the quality of the work is not good enough.
  • 68% leave because of the way they were treated.

Using your ears is more important than I'd ever heard.

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Anne Stanton - November 29, 2004 11:12 AM


Take a peek at OneNote from Microsoft. A great little tool that allowed me to get rid of all the post-its on my desk. It was designed for the TabletPC but works great on any computer for note taking.

Great post Thanks! Anne

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