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Friday, December 11, 2009

The Headwaters Of The Sale

They made a big deal when someone discovers the origination point of the Amazon, Mississippi, or Nile. (“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”)

What about when someone discovers the origination point of a sale?

It’s way before a project goes out for bid, before negotiation, before specification. If you were present at origination, stands to reason that could be a huge advantage.

Thursday I was at a Grip’N Grin at the Alexandria Chamber Of Commerce. Joe Shumard, Membership Driver was making some announcements. He and I are running an experiment to raise the use of Web 2.0 by Chamber Members. I would be satisfied with an ostentatious display of mastery from the members. This was the kickoff.

Joe asked two questions.

“How many of you have a LinkedIn account?”

“How many are in the Alexandria Chamber LinkedIn group?”

And he dropped the subject, went on to other announcements. I was fielding questions the rest of the morning.

The headwaters of the sale are the point where the buyer starts to consider the solution. That’s the efficient place for me to be.

Let me give you another example.

A friend asked for help building a presentation for a industry-wide meeting where he was selling document management software and services. We had done this before and agreed that the battle would be won or lost with the opening question.

Come the presentation the opening question was:

(Hand raised above head) “How many of you…have ever…lost a document…in your own computer?”
End game at three minutes. The audience took over to make all his points for him. It was a feeding frenzy and he was busy graciously welcoming his new customers.

Been there, done that? Tell us!