Smash the Window!

Written by Steve Waterhouse

Doing what it takes to makerepparttar sale

It was 7 am when I opened my office door and saw my boss sitting at my desk. He had just two words for meÖ

The day before had not gone that well. First, I was late meeting my local rep, Bill, for breakfast. We choked down a few eggs and waited so long forrepparttar 139408 check that I thoughtrepparttar 139409 waitress had gone home. Finally, I tossed my briefcase inrepparttar 139410 back of Billís SUV and we headed out towardsrepparttar 139411 IBM plant. Youíve been there, so you know what happened next. Whenever you are late,repparttar 139412 traffic is unusually bad. As I stared straight ahead, Bill, who had only been representing us for 6 weeks, was trying hard not to ruinrepparttar 139413 day by jumping down my throat. Finally, we reachedrepparttar 139414 visitors lot with 10 minutes to spare. We both knewrepparttar 139415 4 engineers and two buyers, who had reluctantly agreed to see us, had no patience for lateness. As I jumped out ofrepparttar 139416 Jeep, I hitrepparttar 139417 electric door lock and ran torepparttar 139418 back gate to get my briefcase. Bill said, ďDid you just lockrepparttar 139419 doors?Ē

Ok, so Iím an idiot. But how was I to know that in Texas they donít lock their cars and they leave their keys onrepparttar 139420 floor mat! With 8 minutes left to get torepparttar 139421 meeting and my presentation locked inrepparttar 139422 SUV, I flagged downrepparttar 139423 security truck. I was hoping he had one of those metal straps that cops and chop-shops use to get into cars in a nanosecond. No such luck. All he had was a tire iron.

The next few second seemed like slow motion to me. I grabbedrepparttar 139424 tire iron and, in one fluid motion, I smashedrepparttar 139425 back window, grabbed my briefcase and returnedrepparttar 139426 tool torepparttar 139427 security truck. Bill looked likeÖ he looked like a guy who had just seen his brand new expensive toy vandalized in front of his very eyes. I just started walking torepparttar 139428 main building. Quickly!

This stuff happens. If youíve spent any time inrepparttar 139429 field as a sales rep you have suffered through a disaster or two yourself. (byrepparttar 139430 way, Iíd love to hear about yours if you care to send them to me. Let me know if I can share them.)

Iím no psychologist, but Iím told that Dr. Phil, Dr. Laura and Oprah all giverepparttar 139431 same advice: They say, ďItís not what happens to you that matters, itís what you do about it.Ē So whatísrepparttar 139432 plan? For me itís a 5 step process that we can apply to our sales lives and beyond.

First, anticipate potential problems early. Whether itísrepparttar 139433 possibility ofrepparttar 139434 demo crashing, four extra people showing up forrepparttar 139435 meeting, or a traffic delay onrepparttar 139436 Long Island Expressway, itís our job to plan ahead. Have breakfast nearrepparttar 139437 clientís site rather than atrepparttar 139438 hotel. Leave extra time for traffic. Double checkrepparttar 139439 demo systemrepparttar 139440 night before. Youíll know what to do if you think about it.

Second, have a plan B. This is especially true forrepparttar 139441 two Tís: Travel and Technology. Neither can be predicted with certainty. I remember Windows 98 crashing during Bill Gates' demo at Comdex, do you? And who among us hasnít missed a flight due to weather orrepparttar 139442 mysterious Ďmechanicalí delays? Bring a spare system forrepparttar 139443 demo. Have someone else who can giverepparttar 139444 presentation (sendrepparttar 139445 slides ahead via email).

Roman or Norman - A Customer Service Story

Written by Steve Waterhouse

Roman Or Norman? It's The Difference Between Being Seen As A Partner Or An Invader.

With all ofrepparttar discussion in recent years aboutrepparttar 139407 importance of understanding our customer's needs, it's a valuable exercise to try to see ourselves as we might be perceived by our customers.

For example, if a customer glances outrepparttar 139408 office window as we march fromrepparttar 139409 visitor's lot towards their fortress, briefcases and laptops in hand and a pocket full of business cards, do they see friend or foe? Invader or partner?

On a recent speaking engagement in England, I found myself thinking seriously about two different groups of our sales ancestors. We've learned a great deal from both, but it became clear to me that each has a far different message to tell in terms of how to deal with customers.

Back inrepparttar 139410 year 1066, an aggressive organization calling themselves "Normans" invaded England from what is present-day France. They were led by a loud, authoritarian sales manager who came to be known as Williamrepparttar 139411 Conqueror. You'd probably recognizerepparttar 139412 type. His goal is winning Ė on his terms.

Now, Bill, as he was known to his closest friends, had done some fairly extensive market research and had determined thatrepparttar 139413 English were good fighters, but he felt that he was better. So his approach was to be tougher thanrepparttar 139414 other guy. He moved in, built forts, stole stuff and killed a lot of people. Needless to sayrepparttar 139415 English didn't care too much for him, so he had to spendrepparttar 139416 rest of his life in combat to hold on to what he had taken. Bill was convinced that this wasrepparttar 139417 only way to conquer a country and his loyal troops saw it that way too. After all, what else could you do sincerepparttar 139418 English never stopped fighting back? To this day,repparttar 139419 remains of Norman forts are scattered throughoutrepparttar 139420 countryside and every English child is taughtrepparttar 139421 date ofrepparttar 139422 battle of Hastings where Bill,repparttar 139423 Conqueror, struck his first blow. A thousand years have passed, andrepparttar 139424 "customer" is still angry.

If Bill had done a little historical research, however, he might have found a better way. A thousand years earlier, another sales manager, this time a Roman named Jontheous, attempted to takerepparttar 139425 English market by storm. Whenrepparttar 139426 locals fought back vigorously, however, he concluded that a lifetime of fighting wasn't going to be good for team morale. Jontheous pulled out, returned to corporate headquarters in Rome, and about ten years later revisited England - without an army. This time he brought with him architects, and priests, and teachers who moved in torepparttar 139427 local villages and cities and befriendedrepparttar 139428 citizens. They built water systems and sewage systems, and even forts and walls. But unlikerepparttar 139429 forts ofrepparttar 139430 Normans, Jontheous's walls didn't separaterepparttar 139431 Romans fromrepparttar 139432 locals. They surroundedrepparttar 139433 towns and offered protection to everyone. His people intermarried and learnedrepparttar 139434 local language. They even addedrepparttar 139435 local gods to Roman worship.

Jontheous and his followers lived in peace withrepparttar 139436 English for more than a hundred years and many cities they helped develop, such as London, still bear their mark. By about 125 ADrepparttar 139437 Romans were having trouble in other parts ofrepparttar 139438 empire and were forced to downsize and close some branch offices, so they departed, leaving behind a rich legacy of contribution. Their successful working relationship withrepparttar 139439 English people meant that afterrepparttar 139440 passage of some 2,000 years,repparttar 139441 people of England still speak well ofrepparttar 139442 Romans.

Today, however, even with allrepparttar 139443 emphasis on customer-focused selling, I still encounter far more Normans than Romans. I still see too many companies who perceiverepparttar 139444 client as something to be conquered rather than embraced. Justrepparttar 139445 other day, while waiting inrepparttar 139446 showroom of a local car dealer, I overheard a manager coaching a sales rep by saying, "There's a customer out there with bags of money. Go get it!"

Roman or Norman?

I've heard a vice president of a major software company tell a client that they had to be committed to their product 100% or they would be seen as enemies!

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