I walk into our conference room and the visiting presenting manager, salesman and sales engineer were waiting there to give us their “dog and pony” in hopes of my organization partnering with them. I know all of presenters from a previous life. All very professional and successful in their own right. What happened next was incredibly short sighted on their part however. Below are my 5 takeaways from this experience.
1.) Assumed that we were all “buddies” and took personal liberties at my expense immediately in front of my boss. Also took on a very condescending tone. An “I will school you” approach.
a.) Made fun of my social media prowess. I update LinkedIn regularly and am very active with this product. It has helped me with credibility, sales, hiring, and marketing.
b.) Commented on me personally about my age and looks. “Wow, Chris, your picture must have been taken some time ago on LinkedIn because you look a lot older in person”. You could have heard a pin drop after that comment.
As the strong influencer in the decision of whether to take on this product, or not, I was not impressed and quite honestly ticked off. With that said I continued on and took one for the team in an effort to help my company make a good decision. Now with a very critical eye however.
2.) Didn’t fully understand our needs and our market. The sales presentation went on with a powerpoint on their laptop. I’m thinking to myself at this point, why did they fly in to see us when a webinar would have been the same?
At first glance the product looked impressive but as in all products there were shortcomings. I made note of them of course (evil laugh). One big shortcoming was that we were looking more for an entry level product and they were presenting a more advanced product. Calling them out on this… they now had to scramble and try to show their other offerings that might be a better fit. Kludge at best and it appeared they had pretty limited product knowledge of these alternate products. Not all that confident inspiring.
3.) Didn’t address the competition that they were given a heads up about previous to the meeting. My boss had told them that I would need to be convinced as I had been pushing another product for some time. During the presentation I had asked if they had different specific features which they could not address. These were features that their competition had that I really liked. Disappointing.
4.) Didn’t bring any live product to show. While PowerPoint presentations have a place in the sales process seeing the product work live is ALWAYS better. In their defense they were willing to come back out and show the product live. Again… Why didn’t we do a webinar first?
5.) I will school you approach. Not sure why they took this approach as on my side of the table were over 60 years combined experience. Not really open to being schooled on anything.
With a little more homework and professionalism and a lot less casual and assumption, this meeting could have gone so very different. Have you found yourself in a similar circumstance? How did you feel?
Make sure you always put your best foot forward with professionalism and class no matter what the relationship is/was with the potential client. You would expect no less and neither do they.© 2006-2017 SalesBlog! | Photos courtesy of 123RF