“The Hunt” of the customer
Working peacefully in the open plan spaces of the office-plain, the majestic ‘Customer’ sit’s comfortably on his ergonomic chair, the beautiful fake light reflecting on his glasses, air conditioning blowing gently through his hair and light music from Spotify playing quietly in his ears.
This creature is a wonder of humanity. Acting diligently on the initiatives & strategies set out to it by the creatures of the long table, working through tasks to improve the success of the pack and to take food home to its family.
Unfortunately for the ‘Customer’, it’s beauty brings with it danger, for it is not only attractive to its hierarchical fellows in the pack….. it lives under constant threat of attack from the beastly predator, known as the ‘Sales Person’.
Lurking menacingly in the coper & fibre scrublands, the ‘Sales Person’ believes that within those initiatives & strategies there is opportunity! For the ‘Sales Person’ to take home food its family he must capture the ‘Customer’, taking all the opportunity it can from its initiatives.
A young ‘Sales Person’ may occasionally mount untimely attacks on the ‘Customer’. Not understanding enough about its prey, it could launch its attack without any planning or with the use of underhand tactics, will receive what can eventually kill it, rejection.
What the experienced ‘Sales Person’ (those few that last long enough) has learnt, is that intelligence is more important than speech. The ‘Sales Person’ that win’s the prize of the ‘Customers’ initiative, is the one clever enough to understand what the Customer is dealing with at what time, and wait.
An approach at the right time, in the right manner, with the right information to show the ‘Customer’ it can help it achieve its goals, is the only way ultimately receive the prize.
The ‘Customer’ and ‘Sales Person’ relationship has been working this way for many years. While there are things to buy, and things to sell, it will continue to be so.
I was inspired to write this story after reading a post on LinkedIn from a poor guy who had enough of getting cold called by people pretending to be who they weren’t, pitching stuff that had no relevance to him at that time.
The resulting comments from people made me laugh, and cry, and it made me think a lot about my journey as a sales person.
To Customers everywhere, I’m sorry. I was one of those young sales people once and I cold-called you while you were getting on with something else, believing if I talked enough you would be interested! It’s not cool and I understand it’s frustrating.
That said, you do need to buy, everyone needs to buy.
To Sales People everywhere, don’t be stupid. Underhand techniques to get past gatekeepers is not where you should be going. Intelligence is the only way to get interest from Customers. Take some time to understand who you are selling to, what the customer will get from you, your product or service and your company, then work out whether it’s the right time for them to do so.
Don’t be lazy, not all the phone numbers in your CRM are ready to gain value from you, make an effort to workout who is, before you start trying to smash down their door.
Generally, everyone chill out a bit. This process must happen, so chill out. In the grand scheme of your life, is it really ‘annoying’ when either a sales person interrupts your day, or a customer rejects you? Its not as bad as having to walk 20 miles to get water every morning or having to sleep in a doorway every night, is it?
(The imagery in this post in no way represents my thoughts of a customer supplier relationship, it’s just to find images of lions being eaten by zebras :))