Today at noon, I walked into Riverbed’s conference room and was greeted by a large inside sales organization who sat with their boxed lunch and my book. No they didn’t eat their lunch on my book, some were holding it and flipping through the pages curious about my talk.
I spoke to this bright and talented group about my book- the journey to being published, the marketing efforts involved and why this book is important for them. Then I got to autograph my book and it was a real pleasure.
We also engaged in some discussion about the sales landscape today and many did a great job at articulating what is happening, here are some comments and observations they had:
“Customers are opting out of “hero” status these days and prefer “employed” status instead.” It’s true- because no one wants to take risks and you can talk ROI forever but at the end of the day, there are few people who will step up and make it happen. These are the power buyers and not the No-Po’s.
“I’m already hearing call me in 2010, we are done for the year.” It’s not a surprise that in early September you will already start hearing this and remember to listen for who is saying it and if this is really the case. You may not be talking with the right person and if you are- perhaps you can entice them with the bite-sized version test or pilot before they go after the real thing.
“We are now focused on the big deals only-that’s the only way we are going to hit our numbers.” I can understand this goal but just remember the backbone of any building process are the little guys- I know it takes a lot more of them but it’s worth it because they are the loyal ones.
“Isn’t Sales 2.0 about using the internet or using more tools in the sales process?” Last week was the third year of the Sales 2.0 conference and somehow salespeople continue to function without really knowing what it’s about. They are living the history of Sales 2.0 and since many grew up on the internet- they don’t need to sit around and talk about it.
The book signing part arrived and I couldn’t help think of the recent book signing I went to for David Sedaris’ new book. My daughter and I waited in line for 1.5 hours for him to autograph our book. I’m never big on waiting in lines but this was very amusing because he took the time to chat with each person and make a personal connection. Most of his questions were funny and seemed to fall in the range of asking what your favorite pet was, if you had ever been breastfed as a child and what other books of his you had read.
I didn’t take that approach exactly but instead asked their name, their territory and wrote a few words of wisdom and mostly want to say Thank You!