Watching my fave Newsnight show last night I was reminded of once getting quite frustrated with one particular prospect. They were putting plans in place that should have included my then peddled service, yet tried to cobble together a solution, mistakenly thinking they could do what I offered themselves. This was a situation I’m sure many a sales person has encountered, where you sell something, and are experts at it, yet somehow, a prospect feels they can do it themselves, in-house, despite being absolutely nothing to do with their core competences or day-job.
The classic in recent years was software. Why oh why did companies think they could write programs themselves? I was at an event run by a leading on-demand sales software supplier when one of their customers (a customer service bloke at online recruiters totaljobs, part of Reed) amazingly admitted they’d almost written a crm system themselves in-house! Suicide. Today, many more examples exists, especially around anything that is outsourced.
I still come across this kind of resolute behaviour when I pitch, with people thinking they could do what I offer themselves. Yet the simple fact is I’ll do it for them better, cheaper and for way less hassle. After all, it’s what we do for a living. And then I heard a cracker of a line on Newsnight that I will have to use given this objection in future:
“you’ll take butter and sugar, and it’ll end up fudge“