Monday, October 31, 2016

How not to be a Salesperson

At Vocanic, we often deal with vendors we use for access to products or data. One such vendor's contract was up for renewal in the past few weeks. If there is an example on how to come across as an arrogant, cocky salesperson, here is a great example. (In the interest of protecting the company's privacy, key details have been obfuscated)




Hi XXXXX,
Hope you're well!
Apologies that I did not catch this sooner, but our contract has expired. If you're interested in continuing access, please let me know so that I can have a new Order sent out.
Our pricing has changed a bit, so it'd be [Higher Price] and include XXXXXX and the reliability features.
Thanks,
Salesperson

Hi Salesperson,
FYI, XXXXX has since left Vocanic and I’ve taken over his duties. I’m surprised to find out that the ABCD contract has expired. Does this means that the service will be cut off soon? We have a lot of platforms that are relying on the data and having it cut off would be disastrous for us.
How do I go about renewing the contract? And regarding the price, is there any room for negotiation? We’re unaware of this increase, and we have on our part signed retainers with our clients without provisioning for this increase.
Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks. 

To prevent an interruption, we'll need to sign an Order Form and attached amendment to the MSA. I've already discounted this solution as much as possible, as our pricing has had some significant changes. What configuration [words edited] are you currently using?
Best,Salesperson

(In a few days time, since the person involved didn't respond):


Hi,
We'll have to disable the streams unless we can sign a new Order Form. Shall I send through Adobe Echosign?
Best,
Salesperson

Hi Salesperson, unfortunately I got ur email a little too late as I'm on a flight out now. Can I reach you at another time?

Sure, but we need to sign the Order, as finance would like to deactivate the account since we're out of contract.
Can I send this through for e-signature?
Best,
Salesperson 

Hi Salesperson,
Can we extend the service until mid-October? Because of the price increase, we're considering other options to acquire [XXXXX]. To be fair, we highlighted the price difference in mid August (being charged for less than a month) and no one from [Your team] gave a reasonable explanation nor an indication that there would be a price increase should we continue.We're currently caught in the quandary of having to absorb the sudden price difference and with no option to recover from our clients as they have all signed an annual retainer which only ends next year.Please let me know the cost for the extension. We are unable to commit to a 12 month contract right now.

Unfortunately, that price is based on a discount for a 12-month agreement, so it'd change if you only wanted a 2-month agreement, and also wouldn't lock in anything for longer than that term. Can you offer some additional insight into what it'd take so long to sign the agreement this year?
The email requesting the number of rules you're using was addressed to you 5 days ago.

Hi Salesperson,Could you give me the 2 month agreement pricing please?
Regarding why it will take so long, we have policies in place where contracts above a specific amount are required to have at least 2 comparable quotes, among other documents. Getting those quotes and everything in order is not something that can be done within a day.
I saw your email requesting the rules, and apologies for missing that. FYI, we are currently using [xx] rules, which you already know, and it’s way below [your tier] limit.


It'll be 30% more which ends up being [Higher Price]. Please let me know how you'd like to proceed and I can send through the agreement for e-signature.
As long as we can sign by the end of this month (Friday), with an effective date of the first of this month (Sept. 1), we can leave access on.

Hi team,
Hope all is well and thank you for turning around those agreements before the end of last week. Can you let me know if you plan to transition to the longer term at [Lower price], to continue the short term rate at a premium, or if you're transitioning away from [our service]?Many thanks,Salesperson

Hi Salesperson,
We haven’t decided. We are also evaluating client contracts and renewals – at the end, we might decide not to use [your service].
May I know the reason for asking the questions – is there a negotiation/pricing option that you are exploring?
At this point, I was genuinely hoping there would be a serious engagement with us. But that was just misplaced hope.


The Order you signed allows for termination with 30-days written notice to avoid auto-renewal. You opted for the option that offers service through the end of this month, which means termination notice is due if you'll be cancelling.
I'll go ahead and put in the cancellation now, and we can revisit in 2 weeks.
-Salesperson
So the contract was sent our. On our end, it was disappointing to deal with this vendor who raised prices without explanation, put in little effort to discuss or negotiate with us, and was rather willing to put a gun to our head than any other approach. So, we were looking for alternatives, which we found. The alternative wasn't cheaper - but they gave us a shorter contract, which was a huge help for us to reduce risk, and they gave us additional add ons. There were gracious enough to get on multiple calls to see how we could migrate over and even followed up pro-actively on it. Guess what, we switched to them.


Hello everyone,
Will you need ongoing access beyond October 31?
Thanks,Salesperson

Hi Salesperson,
No.
Thanks.
I wish this salesperson learnt a little bit of humility and empathy - this contract could have been easily salvaged. 

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