I'm a lousy sales person 2009/06/23
This subject came up because of a comment at my You lose one now and then post. I had mentioned there losing a customer and had suggested some possible reasons; a commenter noted "Or maybe another sales guy came in and actually kept in contact with them". They are dead right: I do NOT keep in contact with my customers. I really am a bad salesperson. I don't follow through, I don't close, I don't do any of the stuff good salespeople are supposed to do.
I'm a tech guy. I'm available to my customers always - nights, weekends, while on vacation. I'll help them through any problem to the very best of my ability and could give you many testimonials to that. But I'm a lousy "salesman".
Let's say you expressed an interest in Kerio Mailserver. I'd be happy to talk to you about that. If you want to talk about how that might compare to using Google Mail instead, I'll give you honest answers. If you want to know about open source options, we'll have an honest conversation about that, too. I'll tell you everything you want to know about Kerio, and I'll send you pricing.
And that's it. Unless you specifically tell me to get back to you on this, I'm almost always going to leave you alone. I'm not going to bug you unless there's a reason to. If you tell me that so and so needs to play with a demo, I'll follow up with so and so. If you tell me a P.O. should be issued shortly, yes, I'll follow up if it isn't. But generally: I'm going to leave you alone. That's because I'm a tech, not a salesperson. Techs respond when you need them, but don't call looking for work.
Prospecting? Don't make me laugh. I don't do cold calls. I barely do luke-warm calls. Make an inquiry, I'll respond - once. If you don't respond to that, I'm not going to chase you.
The same goes for tech support services. Inquire as to what I can do for you and I'll talk as long as you want. That's the end of it - I'm not going to follow up unless there is some unusual reason to do so. Again, techs aren't sales people.
I don't represent myself as an expert, a wizard or as anything but what I am: a smart guy with a lot of experience. If I can help you, I will. If not, I'll help you find someone else. I have no interest in forcing my skills to meet your needs. If they do fit, great. Otherwise, you need someone else - it's that simple. I know I could make a lot more money if I were more aggressive on sales. I don't care - it's not my personality and forcing myself to be something I am not does not make me happy. I am what I am.
And I'm happy with that.
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