Shattering Expectations

Picture the scene. You are the chairman of a major British corporation. You’ve arrived promptly at the offices of a new supplier, eager to hear their pitch for your prestigious business.

You hate incompetence and command respect. You have very exacting standards. You’ve even been knighted for your services to British industry. People address you as “Sir”.

As the office doors open, you can hardly believe your eyes. Your expectations are shattered. Instead of an enthusiastic welcome, you are greeted by an unoccupied, scruffy, smoke filled reception.
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The Dog’s Gone Senile

There were just two of us that started Neocol back in 2003. I took care of sales and marketing, and my partner took care of the clever, technical stuff. When we began, we didn’t have that much capital. To boot, we had zero customers and not one member of staff to assist us. We made up for these shortcomings with a whole bunch of enthusiasm, energy, and creative ideas.

We had spotted a niche, and knew our friends over at IBM had some technology to address it. IBM was slow to realise what they had, so we effectively took the proposition to market for them.

After some persistent drum beating and clever marketing, we started to attend joint customer meetings. We had researched heavily, therefore on many occasions we actually ended up knowing more about IBM’s proposition than the IBM sales people accompanying us!
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Video Killed The Radio Star

Video is everywhere nowadays – you no longer need a massive budget to shoot an ad and pay for prime-time TV slots. Even if you did, nobody’s really listening – most of us are so busy, we record what we want to watch and then sit down at a time that suits us – fast-forwarding through all the ad-breaks.

In today’s world, you can compete with the big boys simply with a creative idea, hand-held video equipment and the power of YouTube. The Internet allows your idea to spread like wildfire, creating impact to the people that actually do care about your message.
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Making presentations is a core part of any business. With millions delivered around the world every day, it’s amazing how many organisations simply let their staff “get on with it”, rather than investing in the development of solid presentation skills.

I think presentations have become stagnant. I’ve made references in previous posts to being creative in front of a new prospect. My opinion is that this is now vital to succeed in today’s world.
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Show Up and Throw Up

It never ceases to amaze me the number of professional salespeople that simply talk non-stop at a prospect. What ever happened to the art of listening?

How effective is it to arrive at a first meeting and simply blurt out everything you can? Is this a sign of poor preparation, or even worse a sign that you actually have nothing of value to say?

Does the customer really need to know every detail of your business? Your revenue from last year? Your number of employees? Do they really care? I doubt it.

Going armed with questions nobody else is asking, coupled with valid insight on their industry and a welcoming ear? Now there’s an idea