A ‘Rumour File’ respondent was explaining how the coal mine fire currently roaring in the Morwell area could have been put out weeks ago, if they had ‘bought his product’. As he was questioned by the radio jocks he stated, "I don't want this to turn into a sales pitch, but our product does ‘this’, ‘this’ and ‘this’ and would have worked.”
Then Ross asked, "Did they know about your product?"
In an increasingly frustrated voice the caller said, "Yes, my Rep went down and saw them and they ignored him!"
The radio host then asked the killer sales question, " Is your product more expensive than the water they are currently pouring on the fire?"
“Yes”, he replied.
Silly them? Or was it silly rep?
I cannot help thinking about what might have happened here.
Could it be as the clouds of smoke began to rise above Morwell that this Rep raced down to the site with his 'stuff' in hand ready to sell. It’s an obvious opportunity to get a deal and sign an order.
On arriving he probably found that they already had a solution that was far more economical and therefore did not really stack up in the buyers mind.
Should this company have pitched its solution a long time ago to make sure the potential buyer was aware of its benefits before this crisis?
Should this sales Rep have gone down and presented a calm but urgent business case that advised of the significant investment many millions of litres of water would cost over a long fought out fire fight verses their fast acting solution?
Should they have also presented a well-branded and accurate business case supported by testimonials to prove their selling proposition and justifying the premium investment?
At the end of the day, selling is now more than just sending a Rep to meet the seemingly obvious needs of unsuspecting prospects and then expecting them to buy at a higher price. It’s obvious; order taking is finished as a sales method.
Sales now requires skills, technique and advanced business acumen. It requires you to uncover land mines for clients, advise on solutions and keep advising after the sale, supplying ongoing insight and alternatives.
This is probably another great product but I cannot help thinking it will miss its opportunity to make a difference through poor selling techniques, as so many products do today.
What do you think?