Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem Blog

Life in Israel

Israeli commercial life and society

In addition to my work as a business coach, one of my interests is blogging about life in Israel. This is a country full of contrasts – over eight million citizens living in an area the size of Wales. You can see snow and the lowest place on the globe in the same day. Although surrounded by geopolitical extremes, Israel has achieved a decade of high economic growth. My work brings me in contact with an array of new companies, exciting technologies and dynamic characters. Sitting back with a relaxing cup of strong tea (with milk), you realise just how much there is to appreciate in the Holyland. Large or small operations, private sector or non profit, my clients provide experiences from which others can learn and benefit.


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The one reason your team is not closing a sale is…….

Conversations with several of my clients in July centred around the observations that they are not making enough sales. As their inspiring business coach and mentor what could I suggest.

I could point them to a recent blog on the Harvard Business Review: “7 reasons salespeople do not close the deal“. Very interesting, but not specific enough. A better lead is the infographic: “16 tactics buyers use in sales negotiations”. However, I must take my hat off to Deepak Malhotra, Harvard professor and author of ‘Negotiation Genius’.

In his talk Malhotra explains over twenty techniques to secure a victory in a negotiation bid. Key point, which the other prior links allude to: Be credible. Show that people can afford to believe in you.

A shining example of this occurred a couple of days ago with a client of mine in Jerusalem. Call her Andrea. Andrea received a nasty email from a customer, who claimed they had the backing of several others. Bottom line – why had Andrea treated them so badly, and in effect taken their money and run.

I encouraged Andrea and her team to call each individual, professionally explaining in detail the circumstances. Without criticising anybody, they showed how each customer was benefiting from the changes initiated. Without exception, all have since maintained their commercial relationship with Andrea. She had strengthened the trust between all the parties concerned.

The element of trust is also at the core of the matter when big brands get things wrong. For example, do you remember the crisis with British Airways a few months back? After a computer failure and PR catastrophe, would you rush to book with them again?

Globally, fewer governments are prepared to take America at its word on many an issue, as the Trump administration shows a continued capability to change its opinion at will. At the other end of the spectrum, many countries in central Africa had felt compelled continually to oppose Israel in international forums. This mistake is being rectified as the government in Jerusalem has repeatedly the importance of sharing its technology with those less well off.

Note that what can take years of brand creation, many a posting of blogs, a huge investment of resources and more can all be destroyed with one innocent mistake.

I summarise with a beautiful story that I heard from an international salesperson. They explained to me how when they create a deal, they try to “teach” the potential client about the advantages of what they can receive. It is a wonderful analogy, which brings home the point of creating trust, when you want to make a sale.

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