When the Beatles sang that in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make, they could have been singing about software development consultant Andrés Taylor.
Andrés describes himself this way:
"I am Andrés Taylor. I’m one of the founders of blueplane, a consulting firm specializing in helping software teams produce better code more reliably. I write mostly about the soft arts of team work."
Andrés mainly a technology person—not a sales guy at all. So it was with great trepidation that he responded to a customer’s request for a reference by putting the customer in touch with a past customer.
He got the old customer to visit the new-customer on the new customer’s premises; they got on well, and eventually Andrés got the feeling that maybe he should just leave the room. And he did. Abandoned the customer in the middle of the sales call. Didn’t do a close. Didn’t ask for the sale. Just left him with an old customer.
And of course, a happy ending ensued.
Read the post itself, it’s worth the click-through.
Here’s my take on what he did right:
- His decision to allow other users in tapped one of the strongest sources of trust: testimonials from others.
- His decision to use old-client as a case example is part of selling by doing, not selling by telling: giving a practical demo.
- His decision to let the old client client speak for himself—to the extent of leaving the room—visibly demonstrated:
- his detachment from trying to control;
- the fact that he wasn’t trying to control old-client;
- his confidence in old-client’s probable answer;
- his confidence in his own services’ abilities to speak for themselves through others.
But what really tells me that Andrés “gets it” is this statement in his post:
“My very explicit goal for every meeting I have is to listen to what they say, and try to find something that is a problem for them. If I can, I try to share some experience or knowledge with the person, that might help them with whatever they are having a problem with.”
That’s Trust-Based Selling at work. Trusting that in the not-too-long run, doing right by your customers ends up doing well for yourself.
And that’s not a Beatle song, that’s a business model.
Well, maybe both.