Home Truths: I see dead people


Lesson #4: I see dead people

What is it that you do for a living?

I always struggle to answer that one. I wish I had become a traffic warden. Then it would be much easier to explain: with the added bonus that I’d probably be more popular.

Let me try to explain what I mean in the next few paragraphs.
I feel a bit like that young boy in the Bruce Willis film, The Sixth Sense. The one who sees things that others do not.

For the record, I do not see ghosts because as you know they don’t exist. (If in doubt, see the BBC programme that I made exposing ghost hunters a couple of years ago or Google ‘The Fox Sisters’.)

However, I find my visions no less disturbing. Let me give you an example…

In Mobile News, I recently read the following statements:

Quote 1: “It’s very rare now that we do not talk to a business customer about data. It’s almost inevitable now, with every deal, there will be some form of data connection.”

Quote 2: “Penetration of data on new SME connections has jumped from seven per cent to 30 per cent in 12 months.”

Both were attributed to the same person regarding the same business in the same article.

So, am I the only person that sees the two statements as incongruent and concerning? “Thirty per cent” is not “inevitable” in my book. So it’s as plain as the generously proportioned nose on my face.

Either one of those statements is false or there’s a major typo.

Now obviously what follows is not aimed at the featured business but the article did stimulate the following concern for the channel as a whole.

I have no doubt that most B2B salespeople tell their bosses that they “talk to” all business customers about data.

But if these figures are representative, in even the more successful businesses, at least seven out of 10 customers still decide not to buy.

Should you not question the effectiveness of your sales process if, after you have talked to them about it, the majority of people decide not to buy what you are selling?

Has the penny not dropped yet?

Data is a concept sale and therefore more complex.

Full article in Mobile News issue 439 (May 18, 2009)

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