A few months ago I attended a CADRE luncheon (www.cadredc.com) where Bob London of London, Ink (an amazing and insightful marketing strategist) was speaking about the elevator pitch – or in most cases it’s something used to bore your prospect to death in 30 seconds or less instead Bob talked about the “customer rant”. What is it that’s just pissing off your prospects? The more you know about what pisses off your prospects the better you can communicate their challenges and the how you can help. (Take a peek at Bob’s site for more info www.londonink.com and here’s the link for the slide share:
The exercise that followed was pretty easy – our prospect rants about pretty much everything to do with sales because let’s face it sales can be a real challenge especially in today’s market. The next couple posts are about the most popular rants we hear as it pertains to sales and business development and some real honest feedback to help deal with each one.
Rant #1 – The person I want and the person I can afford are 2 different people
I have $60k but the person I want commands $100-$150k in salary alone. Clearly this is a problem. Our clients want operators, true business development specialists, and yet they don’t have the resources to hire that person. After salary, taxes, benefits and expense reimbursement they’re looking at a minimum $200k investment and they have $60k, it just doesn’t compute. Since most of our clients and prospects are in the $2-30,000,000 revenue range, the CEO is still responsible for the vast majority of operations, client fulfillment, decisions made, hiring, etc. they simply don’t have time to train a more junior level business developer nor do they have the 1+ year waiting period to allow them to come up to speed. Ultimately the prospect feels they are in a no win situation – hiring the junior level BD person in their mind is a recipe for disaster as they can’t dedicate the time and resources necessary to bring them up to speed quickly and they simply can’t afford the person they want.
Options: If the CEO is the primary sales person, what functions can be transferred to others in the office to free up the time of the CEO to run business development? This works great for the CEO who really loves sales (however not every CEO who loves sales is the best option so look around the office as well). For those that don’t or for those whose presence is truly needed in the office it may be best to identify outsourcing options. You’re looking for the expert in your target market/s at the price you can afford.