Confused Prospect Wonders, “What Am I Supposed to Do With This?”


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One of the fun parts of being an author, is seeing how your book impacts readers. That’s why I loved this post by blogger & Sales VP Jim Keenan. He’s also a hot prospect for some salespeople who are quite sure they have the perfect offering for him. Check out his reactions to one seller’s attempt to get his foot in the door.

What Am I Supposed to Do With This?

It’s funny how we can experience things on a regular basis, but it’s not until someone points it out that we see it clearly. This just happened to me.

SNAP-cover-smallI am reading Jill Konrath’s new book SNAP Selling. You can see a copy of it in the sidebar. It’s a great book. I’ve read a lot of sales books in my days. What makes this good, is it is timely.  Jill does a good job of assessing how today’s selling environment has changed.

Selling has changed and it’s important sales people recognize this.

In Jill’s book she talks about today’s frazzled customer and how the messages we send have to be on target or they will be deleted, (her opening letter from a customer is just brilliant, I wrote about it here.)

I’ve been reading it from a sales person perspective looking for ways it could be relevant to my team. However, lately I’ve been in the “customer” position and her points are ever more clear to me.

I’ve been getting a lot of sales calls, and inquiries to meet, to review books, look at products, etc. Between this blog and my position at work the amount of requests for my time and help have grown 10 fold.

Most of these requests come in the form of an email. Almost all of them were very difficult for me to figure out “WHY” I should take the time.

This email I got the other day triggered the point for me — I’m still not sure what to do with it, so I deleted it.

Dear Jim,

Trust all is well at your end.

I take care of Technology and Communication Practice at XYZ Systems based in Atlanta.

My responsibility is to help Communication Technology enablers and Service Providers like you take control of your Product Development, Support and Transformation cost.

Recently we co-developed a Service Assurance Application for a major OEM that currently has been implemented by a large number of Communications Service Providers (CSPs) across the Globe.

Some of the Critical Success Factors of our solution include:

• Reduced Churn by 40%
• Increased First Call Resolution by 40%
• Reduced Total Cost of Ownership by 45%
• Enable consolidated view at device, network, service and customer layers
• Perform end-to-end intelligent root cause analysis

With over 19 years of expertise we have been able to help our customers successfully deal with their Application transformation, Quality Assurance, System Integration needs through our global delivery end-to-end IT Services model.

Some of the Communication Service Providers and OEMs that have benefited from our expertise include Bell Canada, Telus, Allstream, Nortel, Alcatel-Lucent to name a few.

I would like the opportunity to update you while sharing some of our results. The purpose of the call is to introduce Kumaran and also understand some of the current challenges in the IT Services space we might help you succeed. Would it be possible to connect over a call to further present the expertise in greater detail – I will be able to work my schedule around yours.

Look forward to hear from you.

Great, I have no clue what to do with this. As a company we don’t measure churn. We do have a call center, but it’s not within my responsibility. Reduced TCO, great where? I’m responsible for sales strategy and operations, TCO isn’t a metric I manage. “Enable consolidated view at device level,” cool, but we make a product that does that. Finally, “application transformation” and “our global delivery end-to-end IT Services model.” Uh?

This email was so confusing that rather than deleting, I reread it, thinking maybe I was missing something. I wasn’t. I deleted it.

I’m getting more and more of these types of emails. I’m deleting most of them, not because I don’t want to help out, not willing to meet or don’t have some need that could be fulfilled, but because I can’t figure out “WHY?”

Jill does a great job in her book breaking down how to engage today’s frazzled customers. I’m not frazzled, but I wish the people who reach out to me would read her book. Then maybe I’d know what to do.

If you have recently sent me an email asking for my time, to review a book, to meet, or to sell something and you haven’t heard from me, I apologize. You’re email didn’t help me understand why I should.

UPDATE: Honestly, if I didn’t get back to you try again. But, this time tell me what you want, why it matters, and when you want me to do it. Even if I can’t I’ll at least know why and write back letting you know. Oh, yeah if you had your admin or assistant ask for you, forget it. If you don’t have the time for me, I don’t have it for you.

Jim Keenan writes the A Sales Guy blog.  He’s also Vice President of Sales Strategy and Operations with a Global Technology Company, an Enterprise 2.0/Web 2.0 Connector, an Entrepreneur still trying to get it right, and a PSIA Certified Ski Instructor for Vail Resorts. Husband to Big E and father to four great kids. In a nut shell, I’m a Sales Guy. Life is good!

Republished with author's permission from original post.


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