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July 25, 2008

Passion and Preparation

Brenda Haines | Brand talkThis week, I had a memorable meet-and-greet with a salesperson. Not in a good way.

“So, tell me about your company,” I opened.

“Well, we’ve been around a long time,” he said flatly, no excitement in his voice, no pride in his face, no gleam in his eyes. “Guess that says something.”

“We currently use online competitors who provide niche services. How does your
product compare?”

“What online competitors?” he asked, genuinely puzzled.

I provided examples, but he stared at me blankly.

“I’ve never heard of them,” he said. “None of my other customers are using them.”

(As you can probably guess, I doubt this is true.)

Then, instead of asking me why or describing what would makes his company different, he walked me through his samples and thanked me for my time. Nice. Polite. But, I didn’t get the sense he’d walk on hot coals to make me a happy customer.

It was a good reminder.

Prospects are, essentially, objects at rest. It takes a lot to put a prospect in motion – getting them to change their behavior and become your customer.

The visit reminded me again that product and price are just part of the mix. There are 2 other P’s that go a long way in making a sale: Preparation and Passion.

If you’re in a commodities business, where your product and price are virtually the same, you need to do something.

Why not bring a little passion and preparation into a meet-and-greet?

Hot coals optional.