Friday, March 23, 2007

No sale...

Well the "Man in Black" routine didn't work, "Hi, I'm Johnny Cash" didn't cut any ice with the client that I went to see today, in fact they didn't really want to see me so it was a wasted 140 mile round trip really.

Its a weird one is this, I have to be careful not to step on any toes but unless I ignore today completely I'm going to step on someones, somewhere.

It goes like this...

We're now part of the largest group of companies in our trade in this country, or at least we will be when I've finished reading the takeover bid contract this weekend that they've sent me, and as such we have access to the UK's best selling piece of attendance recording software and our own hardware devices - thats not sales guff, its true.

As we're now a regional office part of my job in sales is to bring on board as many smaller one-man-band type of businesses in our trade and get them to sell our stuff, whilst at the same time I'm out there in the market selling on the same enquiries that they are going to, and sometimes selling to their own existing customers and losing them that business - its a fine line to tread and you have to be careful not to piss them off too much.

Enter another business in our trade who last year launched their own cheap end product, it was cheao and it did a basic job and because we weren't part of this large group back then we agreed to sell it - it turned out to be crap, its a timing device that loses time each and every day, in other words its not just crap, its fucking crap, they fixed the losing time issue by getting the software to add back the lost minutes through the day, in other words it still loses time but compensates itself at several points in the day - a crap solution to a fucking crap problem - we dropped the product after selling eight of them and having problems with all of them.

The one man band who had supplied the potential client that I visited today is one whom I had been touting to sell our stuff but unfortunately when we dropped the crap company's product, this one mand band had taken up their offer to be their distributor, he's sold two now and is realising that they are crap and having spoken to me now knows that they are definitely crap - so I get the call to go to a company in Hull and find out when I get there that this is one of the two companies where he ghas sold the crap gear to, they are not happy and have not paid him for it, he is out of pocket and doesn't know that his client are planning to dump him and his equipment.

So do I placate this trade customer and not poach his client or do I say fuck him and sell one of our systems, thereby stealing the customer, pissing off the potential trade customer at the same time ?

A true salesman would make the sale and bollacks to the trade customer.

I've done things a little differently.

I told the client that he would always have trouble with the crap that has been installed but told him that the company who supplied it did so in good faith and has been shafted by the supplier, as we were with the eight crap systems that we bought off them - I've promised to quote him for one of our products which will do the job standing on its head and left it at that. After I'd left the client I rang the one man band and explained everything to him telling him that we will do a one-off special price for one of our systems so that he can remove the crap thats in there and bin it, install ours and still make a profit for himself, we will make a few quid on this one, nothing like what we could if we sold direct to the client, but this way we bring the trade customer on board and solve his problem of how to get out of this situation without losing a customer and being landed with equipment that he can't sell because it doesn't work.

I'm a regular King Soloman me.

I coughed and spluttered my way right the way through that meeting this morning, this sore throat and cough is killing me so by the time I got back to the office I was ready for a beer and something to eat, we retired to The Fox at 4pm and enjoyed a couple of pints of Taylors Landlord and a gorgeous bowl of goulash and bread in front of a roaring coal fire.

There is nothing in the world to match a good English pub at the end of the week.

1 comment:

John_D said...

That 'add-the-time-lost' workaround sounds like the software solution that a company I'm desperate to leave would engineer.
Do they want it doing right?
Gizza job. I could do that.