As part of some research for a professional organization I am on the Board for, I had to call a vendor for information (because it wasn’t on their web site, but that’s for another blog entry). Got droid #1, who listened for a minute before saying I needed to speak with Matt, the rep for my area, would I hold? Sure. Then Nathan picks up, and I tell him I’m holding for Matt, so he says he’ll transfer me. Matt finally answers. He doesn’t sound happy to hear from me.I explain to him what I need, what I perceive his product can do to meet my need, and the information (pricing, mainly) that I need from him. It takes about 60 seconds. Matt then proceeds to say (paraphrased), “OK. So we’re a company that provides X. We help people by Y. We…” I cut him off. “I read your web site. I need to know THIS.” He rambles on. Comes up with “it depends — we have several tiers of pricing.” I give him a sample scenario — X people, Y times, Z period, and ask point blank. “What will this take?” My hypothetical numbers didn’t match his tiers, evidently, so he hems and haws. “Matt, pick whatever level works with your pricing structure. Can you give me a quote?” I finally get some numbers out of Matt, and not surprisingly, they were eye-popping and pretty much excluded him, since his service is no better than ones costing half as much. Even if he cost less, guess — just guess — if I’d buy from Matt. I told him I was gathering info for the Board meeting tomorrow night (this was yesterday) and thanked him for his time.Phone rings today. “Hi Alan. This is Matt from XYZ. Just wanted to follow up. Wanted to check on how your Board meeting went and see if you made a decision.” When I explained we talked yesterday, the meeting wasn’t until tonite, and we wouldn’t be making a decision, he mumbled something about getting his wires crossed, and hoped the meeting went well. I almost recommended that he read Jeffrey Gitomer’s Little Red Book of Sales, but decided against it. I know I’ll have to talk with Matt tomorrow, and will have to tell him that I don’t wish to be bothered again.
Sales (and communication) is NOT ABOUT YOU. Find out and meet the needs of your customer/audience base.