Business conversations are like dancing. And a conversation about extending a contract is also a kind of sales conversation. Who should lead in this dance - the salesperson or the client?
The conversation about extending the contract for another year is just another kind of sales presentation - one preceded by an existing business relationship. Without it, there would be no question of extending something that already exists. However, to continue such a relationship in a meaningful way, it has to be beneficial for both parties, which is why it should be based on the principle of partnership.
The relationship between two dancers is the classic example of a partnership. Let’s consider what that means and what conditions should be met so that the pair not only enjoys the first dance, but wants to dance together again. The preliminary criterion should be willingness to participate - if one party isn’t interested, they’ll probably refuse the request for a dance. It’s worth considering, however, why they refused. Perhaps they didn’t like the music. The location and the atmosphere might also play a part. Not without significance are the partners’ dance skills, including how well they know the steps and can work together. They also need to decide who leads and who follows. In classical dance, the man usually leads. The first dance together allows the dancers not only to adjust, but also to gain confidence, which will be valuable in the future. And what’s it like in the sales process?
History as an asset
Just like with a pair of dancers on the dance floor, certain elements are necessary in the sales process to create a partnership between the salesperson and the client. If you’re trying to extend a contract, rather than establish a whole new relationship, you’re starting from a privileged position. That’s your competitive advantage. In other words, it’s an asset that you should use skilfully, especially if you have a history of successfully working and solving problems together. If your client is considering a new supplier, the new contractor will have to not only gain the trust, but first of all, first of all, convince them that they are able to provide the right relationship, which may include several important factors - just like the factors that affect our dancers. That’s why already having an established relationship with your partner gives you a privileged position when the music starts.