Perfection and Prospects

You may find this hard to believe, but I'm not perfect.

So, when Founder Cat wrote The “Purrfect” Enemy, I knew I had to share. Then, last night, I was catching up on my DVR'd medical shows and found myself reflecting on two lines. One doctor said "In my head, everybody lives."

Unfortunately, in my head, they don't. I wrote Crappy Salespeople almost 10 years ago. So, this isn't a new attitude. I believe that top-grading salespeople is why I exist. Furthermore, if you read this article about referrals that I wrote a week later, you'll realize that I won't refer business to crappy salespeople because I don't want them to make my friends' lives more difficult. In my head, they don't live.

This week was a disappointment. Two companies that should have hired us did not. Why?

Somebody that Robbie respects strongly suggested that he hire us, but #3 and #7 kicked in.

Robbie got his boss, Kenny, involved hoping that his boss would pay. As it turns out, Kenny has his own issues. He doesn't know how to manage salespeople, but #1 and #5 kicked in. So, when I told Robbie that I wouldn't work with him unless Kenny was also working with us, that killed the deal.

Ultimately, they agreed that they wanted affirmation, not change (#4) and that they didn't like having someone have an opinion that disagreed with theirs (#8).

Another guy at another company reads this post and books a call with this agenda.

I have recently invested into a company and am heading up the sales department. We are going for big growth for us in 2017. There are 5 of us in the sales department. We have taken on two new guys plus myself. I haven't been in sales for several years. I need to improve my own personal sales skills, but also want to become an effective sales coach for my team. Also interested in coaching for my team until I am competent.

They sell $50-$75K projects that supposedly increase revenues. Been in business for decades and are looking to get 40 - 60 new customers next year while retaining the existing $3M. He understands our methodology. He understands our process. He asks:

  1. How can you prove we will get the results needed in the first quarter?
  2. Do you do any programs where there is a lower base, but the rest is made up based on performance?

To which I replied:

  1. We may have mentioned the Rick Kranz anecdote. We taught his sales guy a strategy to reach back to prospects that went silent during the prior year. 30 days later he closed the biggest ($150K) retainer of the year. Will it happen at Brook? How many good prospects went silent in the past year? What are the chances that we'll be able to help your people convert one of them?
  2. During our call, we asked how many of last year's new customers were referred by the 700 customers that you currently have? If we help your folks with a strategy, what is the possibilty that we'll be able to help them get one new customer as a result?
  3. I have 1,424 followers on LinkedIn. Your people have several thousand. My connections are connected to 1,158,461 people on LinkedIn Inline image 1What do you think would happen if we helped your people with a strategy to uncover one new customer out of the millions that your employees are connected to?

(BTW, one sale would give a positive ROI for the quarter.)

He replied, "I guess we need more confidence we will get the ROI on the investment. Is there any chance we could have a trial one hour session? Four reps could send in one challenge or question they have and we all jump on for one hour and could then assess the benefit we got out of the call?"

So, he's not sure that he'd get benefit out of a 3 month program, but is reasonably sure that he'd figure it out after a one hour call? Huh? My guess is that his people struggle with ROI risk questions because he struggles with it. They probably aren't getting enough referrals, or business from their network and they probably have a bunch of business sitting in the 'gone silent' box.

He's new and may not have confidence that his people will change. Check out #6, 7 &8.

So, back to my medical show...

Another doctor at another point in the show was being asked to recommend a patient for a transplant based on the possibility of a long future. However, the patient's history suggested that a transplant should not be done. Ultimately, the doctor recommended the transplant because the patient had "grit".


Interesting word.

firmness of character; indomitable spirit; pluck, resolution, fortitude, courage.

Do you have grit? Could you be better? How much grit do you have?

Is looking for perfect keeping them from getting what they need?

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