Saturday Morning Sales

Kevin Latchford


Two Sides To Every Story - May 31, 2014

I remember sometime in grade school, after getting into a little trouble with a teacher, that I was sent to the principal’s office. Before I knew what punishment would be handed down to me and a classmate, the teacher who was victim to our childish prank was able to tell her side of the story. It was at that young moment that I first learned the lesson that there are always two sides to every story.


Entering my career it did not take long before I realized, especially as a junior level sales rep, that customers tend to hear what they want, and will use what they hear to their advantage, even if it is not entirely accurate. They have their side of the story and you have your side. So how do you get both sides to meet in the middle?


All too often in sales we focus on the task at hand: scheduling the appointment, writing the contract, going for the close. We often overlook the various touch points in between. The conversations over the telephone, the emails sent late in the evening, the voicemails following up on a discussion point.


I have found over the years that documentation with an action item is the key to keeping two sides closer aligned. A simple thank you email listing the conversation points with a question in the closing (the action item) offers you the control feature needed in sales. You will have the reply to hold on to should you need to remind your prospect or client of the details thus making their side of the story much more closely aligned to your side.


Remember, sales is about developing a relationship, and as in any relationship there are two parties involved. Keeping the two sides closer to being on the same page reduces stress on the relationship and makes for a much more agreeable future and success.

20 Years in the Making

In May of 1994 I began a career journey that has been challenging, risky and rewarding. I’ve held a variety of titles, but they’ve always meant one thing – sales. My best guess is that I’ve met with close to 2,000 different companies ranging in size from mom & pop – to – start-up – to Fortune 100. And, I’ve had the pleasure of calling many in each category clients. I’ve lived in Maryland, North Carolina and Florida before eventually landing in Cleveland, Ohio which is now home. More...