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Help Me Salvage a $450k Deal!!!

Hey Savages,


I recently got a new job as an AE with an established company slinging the dream of SaaS solutions. I was just assigned an account whose $450k software license will be expiring in September. From all the notes in Salesforce it appears like one singular Director Lady makes the decision on this particular software.


Here’s the kicker - I am not sure what exactly went down, but several of my colleagues told me things went south between this Director Lady and the previous rep after implementation. The previous rep is no longer with the company (I was hired to fill his role, thus, the situation we are in). It sounds like the rep put a bad taste in Director Lady’s mouth for our organization, and the relationship deteriorated quickly. To be fair, I have heard Director Lady isn’t too easy to work with..


My Question:


What do I say in my email introduction to Director Lady?!?! I have tried to get her over the phone multiple times to win her over with my boy-ish charm; however, due to Rona19 she is still out of the office and there is no mobile number listed. Also once I do.. do I directly reference the poor previous relationship even though I don’t know all the details?


I am not usually stumped, but given I just joined the company and this is a big deal size with even more to be had - along with the previous rep eff’in things up - I am at a loss and need help!!!


Thanks in advance Savages.

💌 Cold Emailing
☁️ Software Tech
19
Mooney
Politicker
+12
Director of Sales
IMO, calling out the elephant in the room as early as possible allows you to get through the issues and get past the problems faster. 

Something like "Hi 'Director Lady' I am the new guy at company. Really excited to meet you and support you going forward. That being said, I have heard some rumors that old guy didn't support you in the most effective ways and might of added some addition complexities or problems to your life. 

Would a 30 minute meet and greet work for you so I can get to know you and understand how I can ensure you are getting everything you need to be successful"


Once you land the call, that is your opportunity to say. Old guy is gone and so is the BS that came with him. I am different and here is how I plan to support you and ensure this doesn't happen again. 
Buchanan
Contributor
+2
Account Executive
This is great advice thank you!! I like the subtle reference in the email but then addressing the elephant right away during the meeting 👍👍

Thank you!!!
TheGreenSide
Opinionated
+3
Enterprise AE
Definitely bring it up early and get past it. You’re anticipating a conflict, but the her conflict is not with you, it’s with the situation.
LordOfWar
Politicker
+8
Director
This is the right thing to do, getting on her side and letting her vent to you about how the previous guy let her down will help to build rapport.
Anonymous_Sales_VP
AVP, Enterprise Sales North America
chiming in here to 2nd some of this because I began to write some of the same advice. Confront the issue head-on. If your organization made mistakes with this account, own them and solve them. Ask your contact what you need to do to continue this partnership and set goals around these things then deliver the documented results back. Show her (not just say) that the experience will improve. 
dukeofshawarma
Opinionated
+4
Account Executive
This is great advice, exactly what I would do.
Diablo
Politicker
+7
Sales
Great advice 
UserNotFound
Politicker
+9
Mid Market Manager
Throw old rep under the bus. "I'd like to schedule some time because I believe there may be outstanding items that still need addressed" Then on the call tell her that 'I have some notes from your previous AE, but let's be honest I'm here for a reason so I'd rather find out directly from you what I need to be doing to ensure you're able to use the product to the full capacity you envisioned instead of relying on those notes!' 

I've always used it as an opportunity to lay the cards on the table so to speak. You can only fix what you know about so dig deep, and follow through on every single issue, or manage expectations if previous rep was an over-promiser. Also, recap your conversation via email and list each action item you/she takes away in order of importance. Then you can continue to drive at the value you're bringing her and it'll be readily available if she questions it. You're creating a paper trail to refer to later if she says something wasn't addressed. 
Buchanan
Contributor
+2
Account Executive
🤯🤯🤯

This is amazing!!! Thank you so much MrsTechSales for providing such detailed relevant advice for my little situation. Much appreciated! I love the straightforwardness of your approach and the idea of creating my own paper trail - which will also build credibility with the customer. Thank you!!!
Th
Theloanemperor
Opinionated
+3
Loan Officer
Super on board with this. Relate to the customer, rail on the old rep, take this one out for a meal and close emmmm!
Do.it.for.the.checks
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
Agreed, one thing to note. This usually leads to a vent session.

I like to respond with something a bit over the top like "Unfucking real! I can't believe anyone got this experience its unacceptable. I'm personally taking responsibility for correcting this. What if anything can we do to correct the situation?"

Note you have to sell authenticity, I've learned how to fake it 🤣. (Also works on accounts that you've sold who have since had a bad experience. Threaten jobs if you need to)
Diablo
Politicker
+7
Sales
So cool
youKNOW
Politicker
+7
Sales Manager
This is a tough one because it's always hard to gauge just HOW BURNT an account is. I usually take notes from previous reps with a serious grain of salt. Those people could be maniacs...who knows how good their input was on why things went south. Personally, I would try and get her cell # in whatever way possible and reach out directly. An email is fine but you absolutely need to establish a bridge and begin a dialogue (if there's one that can happen) with her. Requalify the company, requalify the deal that you have with her, and try to see if it's still a good fit for what they need.
Buchanan
Contributor
+2
Account Executive
Great point! A bridge definitely needs to be made and I like your point about starting from ground zero and requalifying the deal. Think that will build some trust & respect as well!
SADNES5
Politicker
+6
Hittin' Dingers
Do you have outside sales? You need facetime to recover this relationship. IMO.

OR INSIDE SALES ONLY: How do you know it's sour. Reach out via email introduce as the new rep, who should you talk to about renewal, we've got some other features for our long term clients that we can roll out for "FREE_INSERT DISCOUNT" to see if it's useful for your team. That'll break the ice, and lock in talks about WHATS new vs whatever the last AE ripped you a new one for...
Buchanan
Contributor
+2
Account Executive
I’m technically outside but our company is on a customer travel halt. Regardless, I don’t think this lady wants me showing up at her doorstep quite yet!! I like the other feature + discount play. Thanks!!
Th
Theloanemperor
Opinionated
+3
Loan Officer
In software sales do they not typically expect your sales process to be a blend of in person and over the phone sales? Any way to get a client i'd think is acceptable. Obviously the deal value needs to outweigh the travel costs.. lol
Th
Theloanemperor
Opinionated
+3
Loan Officer
AGREEEEEED
alecabral
Arsonist
+8
Director - Digital Sales Transformation
I'm with @Mooney here, I think you can be honest and straightforward without shooting you in the foot. An additional note though is you don't need to beat it to death. I think calling it out is good, which could potentially lead to her venting for some time. Allow her that, but try to keep your center and once the rant is over, show her you're in for good. Do your homework, get as much intel as you can about their previous investment and don't be afraid of throwing good / solid / REAL ideas that call out their business situation. Always go back to the business at hand.

And remember: it'll take time so just follow her lead for some time until she's ready to give it over to you.

best of lucks, I know you'll nail it!
Cornholio
Opinionated
+3
Account Executive
I would absolutely address it immediately- acknowledge you’re new and you just know the relationship was strained let her complain for as long as she wants and be empathetic with her- don’t necessarily agree though. Then pivot to how the product is performing and focus on the positive. See what she needs to feel warm and fuzzy again, attention from senior level folks, boozed and smooshed, etc. and get that done. Be Johnny on the spot and make her see the difference.
User1234567
Politicker
+5
User1234567
best of luck!
JuicyKlay
Politicker
+9
AM
Call a sales person on their team and get her number. Get one of your executives - even CEO to hop on a meeting and pledge your support. 
kbites
Valued Contributor
+2
Account Executive
I would try to do the initial chat/meet-up over coffee if possible. Coffee always seem to lighten the mood for an easier introduction. 
FlintIronstag
Notorious Answer
+8
Chief Marketing Officer
@Buchanan - I have rocketreach, send me her LinkedIn and I'll get you her personal contact info. You can finesse her from there if that helps any. Good luck!
Th
Theloanemperor
Opinionated
+3
Loan Officer
you're a true hero. someone get this person a bottle of whatever they want!
FlintIronstag
Notorious Answer
+8
Chief Marketing Officer
here to help
Notorious_Slinger_Official
Fire Starter
+2
Senior Territory Account Executive
A lot of the advice is great about addressing the issue. 2 things. Send a vidyard, she'll see the whites of your eyes. Make sure your email subject pops, 'Out with the old, in with the new'. Up to you. 
SD
SDRMANDO
Fire Starter
+1
Principal
Here's my 2 cents:  Use the Chris Voss Accusation Audit method to get help get the crap on the table, have the venting session and rebuild the trust.


Use Mirroring and Labeling to create trust and familiarity with your client.


Use phrases like.. seems like we really dropped the ball on that one...

After the airing of greivances has passed, then ask:  Do you still have the problem you were trying to solve by implementing our solution?

If Yes: then what happened that we didn't fix it?
If No: then, what would your operation look like without us?

If she's already talking to your competition, she's gonna say it's gonna be fine.. they'll find a way.. then hit her with another label: Well I guess you could go with competitor X to help you solve this problem.  

Then just wait...... see what she says....

If she's ready to move she'll respond with a denial to this label.

If she's thinking about moving, she might not say anything.

If she's not thinking about moving its because you have intertia working for you.

Regardless you can now redo discovery, find out their real challenges and have frank conversations about her needs.

And if she's leaving... good bye.
eman
Politicker
+2
Account Executive
Be frank that you know about the falling out between her and the rep. My biggest concern is that your technology has become "shelfware" and they aren't using it at all.
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