"To Be Honest…."

This phrase has always irritated the hell out of me.  When someone says this, it can often suggest the last thing they’re being is truthful.

Yesterday I managed to get hold of a chap that I’d been referred to by someone I’d met last week for the first time.  The pair concerned were both Ops Managers, so not my traditional beneficiaries (which are sales guys).  The first recognition I heard when on the phone, was an inaccurate description of what we do.  Anyone that’s ever expected a prospect to ‘sell’ internally on their behalf will appreciate the likelihood of this (nigh on 100%) and it’s nornally pretty destructive.

I obviously sought to gently educate this view and put us in the correct light.  Then the guy (called Jeff) kept saying “to be honest…” and I knew I was onto a loser.

He couldn’t give a monkeys.  If I’d been offering gold bars, half-price, he wouldn’t have been open to that, either.  One of those guys.  Luckily I have a further route in through another guy, but this one, well, he just didn’t experience any pain, what with not being a salesy-person, so I wondered why I’d bothered.

Everything in his garden was rosy.  The sales guys (although mainly without laptops) had a spreadsheet they filled in a column of each week on activity, the boss kept in close contact, and they seemed to be doing alright.  Classic status quo chat that normally dooms businesses to failure.

So I did wonder why I put myself through this inevitable frustration, but there you go, live and learn and off to contact the boss, Graham, now and see what he’d like to improve and evolve with his charges….

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