Monday, August 30, 2004

Hearts and Minds contd.

This doesn't have that much to do with selling, but
So this week, while you are making your sales calls or managing your team, don't forget that Croot and thousands of great salespeople are out there selling a product that will keep our nation and our families safe. Let's say a prayer that Croot and his company meet their sales quote soon and return home safely to the biggest sales awards ceremony this company has ever seen. Oh . . . and Croot . . tell your buddies we are forever grateful for your sacifice. We will never forget them. - p.39

Now back to the "thoughts".

In sales we've been using the war metaphor for a long time. I was always sort of uncomfortable with "targeting the market," "being in the trenches" and "destroying the competition." It just didn't fit what I saw as the most effective selling. Thanks to the article I realized that the problem is not the war metaphor, it's the conventional meanings I put into "waging war." Major Croot's description from hard won experience changes everything.
"I expected a hard-nosed conversation about objectives, overcoming the enemy, never giving up and fighting to the end. Instead, I heard words like caring, listening, loving, helping showing and giving." p 35
Now that sounds alot like the selling process that I've seen work.

Another thought. It sounds like the Major doing the daily work on the ground, might "get it" better then the suits in Washington. In the context of this article, suits can be seen as Top Management. That might have some parallels in the world of the print business.

And now the minor quibble. Brian says that "It is difficult to force anybody into anything." I would say that it is for all practical purposes impossible. If you are not selling what your customer wants or needs, it's not going to happen. If your product is not what they want, find a customer who does or redesign the product. In the 21st century there is no third alternative.