domingo, 28 de abril de 2013

I Want to Sell More!!! or why Insanity is doing things over and over expecting different results

(Original article published in January, 2013)

A few weeks ago, a now, client told me "Yeah, yeah, I like your blog and everything but that is worthless for me. Truth is someone spoke to me nice of you, and I only need to sell MORE!!!"

"All right, so Everything is perfect, isn't it then?" I replied. He then went on and on and on complaining about the universe's conspiracy against him, unions, government  weather, competition and what not. So I just said: "perfect, so why do you need me for?"

It was evident for me at that point that this guy had worked his butt off for many years and something was not working just right. HE is the expert by all means, a true specialist and true connoisseur of his business (apologies, I cannot go any deeper, you know, confidentiality issues). And that was it, everything else is where he truly needed me, as at the end of the day, as Bill Nye says: "every one you shall ever meet knows something you don't". By now client understood, even this:

"Insanity is doing things over and over expecting different results" -  A. Einstein.

He hired me. A couple of hours later I found the problem, which in fact was 3 intertwined issues, one it as his staff's attitude which correlates in supervision and middle management issues, also promotional materials directed to the wrong buyer and lack of sufficient information due to lack of time to do due diligent research. I Told him: "J, you are going out to war with a butter knife"

"Dress me slowly, 'cause I'm in a hurry" - Napoleón Bonaparte

In a few hours worth of work we managed to gather enough information to complete the advertising materials, and I am still working on the people side. That takes more time.

A few days later, the owner, J, tells me: "Moe, good thing I listened to you, you went right into the kitchen without warning and put the finger right on where it hurts... " I sweated for a few seconds, and he went on: "You opened my eyes, thank you"

Today, true buyers are checking up the new info we created, thus the sales projections are looking a lot healthier this year than all the previous ones.

A colleague told me "You only worked in for a few hours! WHY? I make myself stupid so I can charge a few more hours..." I just said: "dude, I steal neither, time or money"

Dear readers, Now some will ask: "Where's your innovation?" Fine, the innovation was incremental and maybe imperceptible to untrained eyes. Innovation at the end which was to connect the missing dots, and for him it all lied in the supervision and staffs attitude, in the renewal/redesigned of sales platform and empathy of what the buyer was really seeking.

J was pushing his products for quality alone, much higher quality standards that the industry is not really looking for, thus the costs are 3 times higher, so J hid the costs... I placed them upfront and found the hidden connection to do so: A ROI reason to buy.