Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Salesman

The salesman was passionate, knew his product better than I knew the back of my thumb, was well-groomed and had a good voice. But I swear I wanted to dash from the room after about half an hour (but, out of the boundless courtesy of my Asian heart, decided to stay for the full 75 or so).

If he was working for my organisation, I'd have to remind him to NOT:
  • dispense with the small talk inappropriately - now if the client wants to move on, fine and super-good, but if the client is doing the small-talking, it's plain yippee-doo-daa RUDE to jump straight into the sales pitch
  • talk for 96% of the time - ever come across the illusion that more words equates to greater control of the situation? the operative word: il-lu-sion
  • keep repeating himself - of course, unless you're an expert comedian or scholar how can you talk non-stop for more than an hour on one particular subject WITHOUT repeating yourself? and, most importantly, how can you expect folks to enjoy a monologue which could've been 50% shorter without loss of content?
  • frequently employ emotive/subjective non-content fillers - e.g. "It is my passion to say this...", "All I want to do is give this away...", "I can't believe why some companies say No..." and other en-crap-sulating phrases
  • start the slideshow really late - a full 45 minutes into the meeting, in fact; worse, the slideshow repeated much of what he said, wasn't all that great and he was reading from the slides (whilst continuing at least three of the bullet-points above)
  • ignore asking even one question about the client and his institution's needs/wants/methods - this is worse than a date where the other person talks about only two people and you're not one of them

The item in question was a good (if incomplete) offering. I would've said Yes in a third of the time taken. I would've learnt more if the pitch from the reading the materials and viewing the slides myself.

Instead I was treated to a guy who cared too much about himself and his stuff - which is to say a depressingly ordinary dude.

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