A BBC News Hard Talk interview with Graham Poll turned up an interesting gem. He’s a former football ref who officiated at two World Cups.
The questioner asked whether he shared the lay-man’s commonly held belief that a good referee is an invisible one.
Poll replied that this was not the case for him. A good referee is one that you spot for doing something good. His examples included playing an intelligent advantage, or a visibly healthy rapport with the players.
It struck me that in many sales campaigns, salespeople can tread a line of neutrality. Yet to differentiate by striving to do something ‘good’ is a better policy.
And when it comes to what constitutes ‘good’, it is surely less about freebies and acquiescence but more about acting in a way that genuinely adds value to the buying process.