Someone sent me a link to a summary of a book by Joe DiMisa, The Fisherman’s Guide to Selling: Reel in the Sale – Hook, Line and Sinker. A typically American title you may think, it describes the six main activities/roles which each meeting must exhibit to be a ripper.
One that did catch my eye regarded (in American spelling I’m afraid!) having a “color commentator” on hand to add insights and stats to back-up what you want to say.
This is an interesting term. I’ve always achieved great success when taking into meetings someone so obviously subzero in terms of sales skills, but who’s technical brilliance the prospects immediately buy into and engage with. Without reading our Joe’s tome, I can’t be sure he refers to this type of support, I hope he does though. It’s a winner everytime.
In fact, one of my recent customer salesreps has produced outstanding results lately by letting a fella called Steve out of his usual dungeon-like habitat and talk technical with his prospect (accountants, no less) as he gets away with the ‘I can’t believe you’re not using this’ line that the rep gets shown the door if he uses.
So, in my experience, such a ‘colour commentator’ is brilliant when they have technical expertise and are not in any way ‘salesy’. Just remember to make sure they know when to stop talking and hand over to you, else the chat will go off into all sorts of unnecessary tangents.
One final point too, is that using a sales manager for this role always goes pear-shaped. They talk too much, guaranteed, end up undermining your presence and never shake off the shackles of their sales responsibilites. Avoid.