One of my clients had become jaded regarding her relationships with her Novell sales representatives. They had grown accustomed to having a Client Exec to support them, and were feeling the lack strongly. Even though they spent a quarter of a million dollars on Novell maintenance every year, this client felt that Novell was just not responsive to their needs. My contact was not the person in charge or the major decision maker; however, she had a lot of influence as she deals with the day-to-day operations of the client’s IT department. I knew gaining her trust would help gain the trust of the decision maker. I started gaining her confidence by responding quickly to all any requests she made. Then I proposed a renewal plan outlining everything that needed to be done to get their maintenance renewal plan on schedule. I proposed dates and action items to accomplish this goal. I asked if there were any other steps that needed to be taken, and asked if she agreed with this plan. She did agree—and execution was easy, since we both knew what was expected by the other, there was no pressure or time constraints, and everything was already planned out well ahead of time.
Result: Our renewal came in two weeks ahead of time, without any complications, with additional revenues accrued. Because of the relationship we had forged, I was able to defuse a potentially bad situation that rose from price increases in two of their four purchased Novell product groups. In fact, our relationship grew so strong that we held face-to-face meetings to discuss the possibilities of adding further Novell products to solve some of their other pain points. This opened up new potential revenue possibilities that could bring in well over $150,000 in upsell revenues. (Chris Francom, Novell Internal Sales)