Sales Naiveté and Domestic Violence

I watched the most recent episode of Blue Bloods last night. Nicky did a 'ride along' with Jamie as part of a school project. One of the calls was clearly a domestic violence case. (Before I continue, domestic violence is a very bad thing and should be stopped.) So, the short story is that although Jamie, his partner and Nicky tried to convince her otherwise, the wife did not want to press charges against her husband and the law would not allow the police to take any further action. Nicky slipped the wife her phone number and told her to call any time. Husband found the number and beat the wife. Their son interceded and stabbed the husband, his father, with a kitchen knife.

The story ends with the husband in the hospital, the son arrested for assault and the wife screaming at Nicky, "How am I going to feed my family with a husband in the hospital, not going to work?" and Nicky crying because in trying to help, she made things worse.

I agree with Nicky. The wife should change her circumstances, but the wife hasn't decided that she wants to change and until she does, Nicky is wasting her breath and potentially causing harm.

Nicky was naive to the law, the wife's view of the total situation and thought that she was smarter than the wife and should 'help' even though the wife did not ask for help and specifically told Nicky to leave her alone.

Salespeople don't typically find themselves in life and death situations, but they make the same mistake as Nicky every day.

They talk with a CEO for a few minutes and then start suggesting that they can 'help' even though they may not know everything that the CEO knows. They offer advice and suggestions without thinking about the consequences of it not being the right solution. They try to help rather than helping the prospect ask for help. They assume that they are so smart, so experienced and so right that they ignore the fact that the prospect doesn't want to know.

How do you get prospects to ask for help? That's a good question for a sales lab.

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