Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

B2B Friday: Tiffany's & Co's B-Day

by Matt Bertuzzi on Fri, Sep 18, 2009

On this day in 1837, Tiffany & Co. was born. Here's a Seth Godin (not word for word) insight about those light blue box-ers:

Tiffany's gives the jewelry away for free. It's the box that costs money. Because the box is all the person getting the thing talks about. They say "I can't believe you cared enough to spend 3-4x as much."

B2B Thought #1: It's not them it's us

In Is Your Follow-up Communication Guilty of Prospecticide?, Paul McCord discusses how follow-up communications teach prospects to either value us as an attention-worthy resource or train them to avoid us as self-interested timewasters. Paul argues that:

Prospects don't have their calls screened, ignore voice mail messages and e-mails, and throw written correspondence in the trash without reading it to be rude.  They do these things because they have been taught by salespeople that answering and returning calls and reading the material salespeople send have no value.  Salespeople have taught them to avoid salespeople at all costs.

Does that mean you can't communicate with your prospects? 

Certainly, you can.  However, your first job is to teach your prospect that you, unlike other salespeople, value of their time; and that when you call, when you send an e-mail, when you request a return call, when you send a letter or package, it adds value for the prospect and that spending a few minutes speaking with you or reading your communications is worth the time spent.

Matt here: This one really got me thinking. Lead generation is a contact sport. When we expend huge effort and dollars to drive inquiries, are we subsequently shooting ourselves in the foot on follow-up?

I am really interested what you think!

B2B Thought #2: Is relationship sales an oxymoron?

The post “A Random Walk Up Sales Street – 12” by Tibor Shanto caught my attention this week. Tibor and his friend Trevor (also a Sales guy) were discussing the real goal of selling activity:

Which brings up an interesting question, what should a seller aspire to, winning a deal or winning a client, are the two compatible or mutually exclusive? Trevor felt that the two are not mutually exclusive, but if he had to choose he would take the deal. As he tells it, much of the relationship talk in his estimate is just political correctness creeping into sales. There are a lot of different sayings in sales, and they all serve a purpose, but they also tend to be contradictory. For example, he referred to the common notion that incentives drive behaviour, “if my company wanted me to have relationships, they’d pay me for that, but they pay me for solid orders that can be invoiced.

Debbie here: Can “building the relationship” and “winning the deal” go hand in hand? Trevor makes an excellent point that he is paid to make sales, not relationships.

What’s your viewpoint?

(Photo credit: minxlj)

Topics: sales process, lead generation

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