He pushes and edges his way forward. He calls and counsels and goads. He knows when to sell hard. He knows when to sell soft. If the deal is hard, he thinks harder. He thinks from inside the box. He thinks from outside it.
Why, he even ‘listens’ to the customer!
And so, if required, he can articulate what the customer really wants – often even better than how customers would articulate it themselves.
And so they listen to him with respect. He brushes aside competition because the company he represents can do so much more. He does everything in the book. And then many things that aren’t in it.
And so, it becomes impossible to resist his hyper-drive. It becomes impossible to resist the incredible promise of value he makes.
And eventually the deal comes through.
Soon enough, there’s the project kick-off meeting starting in 15 minutes and reminders are popping up on everyone’s calendar.
In come the tech guys and the project manager and the solutions man: A room of powerful delivery guys!
Out come their notebooks. And the moment the customer starts his opening line, alas! Tragedy strikes…..
What a terrible disaster!
The room is suddenly filled with stenographers, hurriedly writing down whatever is uttered. The entire room of techies and experts representing an incredible promise of transformation suddenly undergo transformation themselves into something close to college kids in a class lecture, whose only real motive in that moment is to keep the gap between their written words-per-minute and the customers spoken wpm as small as possible. So it’s a catch up game, and some of them even peek into the notebooks of their neighbours to see what they missed while trying to concentrate on spelling ‘re-assess & reinvigorate processes’ (for example, is it ‘assess’ or ‘asses’??).
Back in office, work starts. Data entry operators key in the steno-notes. Project managers export that into MS Excel and delivery managers use that to estimate time. Project Leaders convert it into Scope documents and break it into deliverable components for engineers to begin building. Everyone focused on their component of the whole project. Everyone trying to ‘deliver well’ their part of the whole.
And, sadly though, that tough, difficult-to-spell phrase of the customer, “re-assess & reinvigorate processes” never figures in anyone’s notes.
Very often the enthusiasm and the proactive, energetic drive visible during the selling phase can be positive factors in swinging the deal in a vendor’s favor. Sadly though, this is often not followed through. The result is a huge disconnect the approach taken in dealing with a client during the sales phase and that in the delivery phase.
If you are the service provider, remember the sale is only the beginning. The Sales team will only help you take the first leap. The Sale is only the beginning. It really is only a door that they open.
If you are the customer, remember that placing the order is not the end. It is only a door you open.
The real show for both begins only after the door opens.
Think about it.
(adapted from a post on www.bouncingthoughts.com)