I got sent to another new biz first meet on Tuesday, and to prove I get all the glamour jobs, the company was on London’s dreaded North Circular Road, near Walthamstow stadium. And it was pouring with rain as I waited for a bus from the central station, eating my plastic white-bread ham, cheese, pickle sarnie bought for just over a quid nearby.
Anyway got to the meeting and the guy (in the copier game) claimed that although he could see why I was there, no such arrangement existed. Well, I got to thinking these things happen, but when the fella, Paul Turner, said he didn’t need ‘lead generation services’ (which is nothing at all to do with what I do) I suggested a pitch was necessary.
His disinterest was verging on the impolite, so I asked a potentialy confrontational ‘it doesn’t seem you’re open to any new ideas to help selling then?’, to which he replied that he’d been there 14 years, his main reps all over ten apiece etc etc, so I qualified out.
I was reminded of that classic Tom Peters quote (a mainly 80s management guru) who, when advised during a spell of early-90s obsessed BPR (business process re-engineering, involving getting rid of all unnecessary middle-managers and realigning processes to how customers liked them) that he couldn’t sack someone (I think in an admin role) because “they’d been there 22 years”, Peters replied, “no, they’ve been here one year, repeated 21 times”.
How did we ever win two world wars? Oh, I remember, didn’t some Yanks have to bail us out?
If you’re in the market for Canon copiers in and around London, I suggest a fully vigilant purchasing approach to include several prospective vendors.