My friend, Dave Brock, once told me a story about hiring a firm to help him install a sales process in a company he was running. Three companies competed for his business. He chose them because he was familiar with their methods, all of which were good.
The first two companies he met with didn’t follow the process that they sold. During the meeting, Dave asked to see some of the tools that they insist that their clients use. He wanted to see how they used those tools to help them sell him and his company. Neither of the first two companies provided him with evidence that they practiced what they preached.
But the third company was different. They were using their own methodologies, and they were able to provide him with proof during their meetings. If you know Dave, then I don’t have to tell you which company he chose.
Talk, No Walk
Every day I am approached by companies who want to sell me appointment-setting services, even though they have zero evidence that I would be a good prospect for them. They’ve done absolutely no research, even though that would amount to the massive time commitment equal to typing my last name into Google. They’ve made no attempt to provide me with anything of value, or to nurture a relationship with me.
Worse still, the method they use to attempt to set an appointment with me is to send me an email. An email!
I have to assume that their appointment-setting method of choice is email, since that is the choice they made when they to attempted to schedule an appointment with me. If they were killers on the phone, wouldn’t they train the salespeople responsible for growing their own business in the same methods they would use to grow my business?
The lead generation and appointment-setting industry that has popped up in response to the inability of sales organizations to hire, teach, train, coach, and develop hunters appears to be made up of the same sort of people they are trying to help.
Do What Is Right, Not Easy
Recently, I had a prospective client ask me to send a proposal and pricing before I had done any real discovery work. I politely responded that I would be happy to send pricing, but that it didn’t make sense to provide it until I understood their real needs.
And then I told her that I was going to teach her sales team not to provide pricing divorced from the value the solutions created. I continued, suggesting that she wouldn’t want to make out to be a hypocrite in front of her sales force. She laughed, and she agreed to wait until we had done the work we needed to do to determine what the right investment might need to be. And she thanked me for walking my talk.
Do what is right, not what is easy. Walk your talk.
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Filed under: Sales 3.0