Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Words of Wisdom

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Bill Miranda
Subject: RE: Words of Wisdom
To: Dave Wheeler

you may use, but give credit where credit is due. . .Bobby Bloom.
On Tue, Jun 16, 2009 at 5:32 PM, Bill Miranda wrote:

Thought the following true story was worth sharing and repeating. Hope this finds everyone well.

There we were…..stuck with nowhere to go, nowhere to hide and all bored to tears. Myself, Tim, Don and Scott all sat trapped in a conference room at the Millennium Hotel in Downtown Chicago.

For the last couple of years I have been attending a series of Sales Forum's of sales leaders from different industries and companies and this was by far the worst. The speaker was the Sr. Vice President of Sales for a company that all of us had heard of but will go nameless in case one of you has a friend, relative or happens to know this gentleman.

So why were we bored to tears? Because he talked about the one subject that none of us cared about, spent money to hear or travel hundreds of miles to listen to. Although it was our least interesting subject obviously it was the speaker's favorite subject. The subject was himself!

I couldn't believe it and I can't exaggerate how bad this presentation was. He had a slide deck that was no less than 25 slides and the first 8 slides were dedicated to this man up to and including a picture of himself on vacation displaying his burly white legs and whiter bare feet as he smoked a hookah pipe on the roof of a Middle Eastern restaurant.

He spent so much time talking about his background and his supposed successful turnaround of four operating divisions that when he finally got to content that the sales leaders in the room cared about he had ran out of time and had to click through the slides in rapid fire succession. It was a classic mistake that many of us have made before; we sometimes speak so much about what we care about that we are oblivious to the cares of our customers.

We don't always spend the time talking about us personally but how many times have you given or been part of a presentation where we simply go into our song and dance about the features and benefits of a product only to find out nothing about the needs of our customer or what they care about? If you've ever started a presentation by asking no less than a half dozen questions about the objectives of your customer, than I can guarantee that you are guilty of this! Every meeting or presentation should be started with a number of questions before the meeting and during the start of the meeting to get a feel for what is one the mind of the customer and what their priorities are for your product or proposal.

Make sure that each and every account call is focused on the one thing that matters most to the customers…..the customer. Whether in the business of sales or in your everyday relationships if all your focus is on yourself you'll find yourself a very unsuccessful sales person and a very lonely individual.

Bill Miranda

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