Tag Archives: Humor

Schedule the demo early in the sales cycle…

…because, as the old joke goes, the demo is the last event before closing the deal.

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Strange but true…

It’s easy to buy, yet it’s hard to sell.

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Give them something to grab onto

Nothing works like an analogy to help an audience come to a shared understanding.

It doesn’t matter if you’re in initial qualifications, discovery meetings, or final solution presentations.  When you can effectively characterize their situation, their systems, or their goals, an engaged customer will grab onto the characterization and start using it, changing it, adding on to it.  They’ll use it to explain to their peers who didn’t make the meeting.  It will become the water-cooler joke.  They’ll name the project after it.  They’ll remember it when you visit them two years later.

In a recent discovery meeting, we came to the realization with the customer that they “just wanted to replace the old van,” and nothing more.  What do you think my demo theme is going to look like?

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A series of sprints

The Pre-Sales role is like a series of sprints.

From one opportunity to the next, from standing still to full speed when the gun goes off. You discover, plan, message, prepare, deliver, follow up, then rest until the gun goes off again. 2:30 in the morning configuration. Four hours of sleep. The long flight home, crashing on a Friday night.

Then again, the Pre-Sales role is like a marathon.

Deals last for months, sometimes years. The reps trying to land them come and go and come back again. The RFP is pushed. The close that was expected in December happens late in March. Last minute demos. Second and Third presentations to the same decision makers. Budget cycles. Competitors change the game.

You know what? Running is a terrible analogy for Pre-Sales.

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Drummers Wanted

The “Rock Band” video game can teach you to drum. It gives you a real-world challenge and you have to apply real drumming techniques to succeed.  With repetition, your skills increase and you learn to play the drums.

Conversely,  “Rock Band” cannot teach you how to play guitar.  It gives you watered down challenges and you can get away with a simplified technique.  It’s superficial.

In the world of Pre-Sales, one road helps you develop an in-depth understanding of business over time.  The other leads to a career in marketing.

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Conversations

I punched the hotel into TomTom and pointed the nose of my aging Audi towards the end of the driveway and towards, in fact, just the beginning of our shared 365-mile journey.  Jane, the voice of TomTom, prepared and thought and planned and warned me as best she could, usually a half-mile in advance, of intersections and of their imminence given my current pace, and she advised me and suggested when to turn right and when to turn left and of when the highway would split ahead and even of which lanes it would be best for me to stay in.  Together, Miss Jane and I made our way south from my home in Maine, the remoteness of which many consider to represent, and speak volumes about, me (and I cannot disagree with them). Heading downwest, we crossed the Piscataqua River Bridge and in turn traversed the No-Man’s-Land of Interstate 95 in New Hampshire that is evermore, for me, in addition to a convenient pair of state-subsidized liquor stores, a protective barrier from civilization (as its inhabitants refer to it) and a place to visit and a place to return from as best I might and as soon as I may.  West, south, into the dark we went, over turnpike and Berkshire, through hamlet and along parkway, and even across major bays on tolled bridges to reach eventually our hotel.*

I had a customer to see the next day. Continue reading

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