Regarding the sales problem, the father is likely looking for his son to start taking over. As the salesperson who had had a relationship with the father, I would talk with him the same as I had before and would ask what he has found the best way of communicating with the son to be. If the father was in agreement, I would send the son the quote by email as requested. After two days I would call to confirm that the quote had been received and would ask if him or his father have any additional questions about the equipment or the quote as it was presented.
Email quote, then visit farm next day to do follow up good chance son might have questions and dad might not have seen quote yet. Dad probably is still big player in purchase as he will write cheque most likely.
Step 1: Send the quote via email to Frank & Sean as requested
Step 2: Try to have a conversation with only Frank and ask him why he thinks Sean reacted the way he did. Sean’s reaction is probably just a symptom of a much deeper problem. Perhaps Sean and Frank don’t see eye to eye on this particular purchase.
Step 3: Depending on what you find out from conversation with Frank, take steps to develop a relationship with Sean, regardless of the history. It seems as if he will be the decision maker for the foreseeable future. If Gordon wants their business, he must figure out what makes Sean tick.
Step 4: Be patient
Step 5: Think outside the box. Come up with different valid business reason, besides the tractor purchase, and visit/call/email Frank & Sean. Hopefully the tractor purchase will come up.
Had a customer situation like this. Visited that farm many times once Junior would send a text about something. His dad hated texting so I knew they weren’t together, great time to call on the man that still ran the operation. Email Junior the quote too,they will figure it out every time.
Put together a plan and take action to build relationships with the next generation of every client he values. Through this plan he should seek to understand the who of the next generation what’s important to them and how best to communicate value; but also the current decision making dynamics and when those dynamics might change.
After being in the business for 45 years now, my experience tells me Gordon needs to deliver quote in person to explain ALL the purchase options including finance options. I would email Sean explaining that his business is very important to me & he deserves my best efforts & time to help him get the right piece of equipment, to help him reach his goals. Gordon needs to build an strong relationship with Sean. Show him that he really cares about their business.