I’m a sports fan, I will admit that I am hooked on Hockey like some drug, especially if it is my beloved Tampa Bay Lightning (GO BOLTS!). I also like Baseball, and one of my favorite movies of all time was “Field of Dreams”. There is one line in there that was made famous by that move. “If you build it, they will come.” Well, I have news for you, that may be true in Hollywood baseball movies, but that is not necessarily the case when you talk Enterprise-class technology. And if they don’t come, do you try and sell it to them when it clearly isn’t a fit for them? I certainly hope not, but I know a few that will. If you are one of those people, STOP IT!As a technologist I view my job as two-fold. First, I do what is right for the customer, because without the customer, I don’t have a job. If I sell the customer something that isn’t right for them and they get mad at my company after they discover that it won’t work the way they expected it to, they are pissed off at me and the company which opens the door to competition. Not what I want.
My job is also to do what is right for the company. If I have a solution that is a good solution, but perhaps not the BEST fit for the customer, what do I do? Me…I position ALL of the solutions and give the customer the pros and cons of each solution, and then let them make up their mind based on an informed position. The net result, if the customer buys the RIGHT solution, they are much more likely to be HAPPY, and they will come back to you and your company for their next solution. They are happy because you gave them choices and didn’t try to force-feed them something that wasn’t what they wanted in the first place.
I have seen a disturbing trend lately in certain areas, and the customer is NOT the first thing on their mind. Closing the deal and getting that commission check is. Might I suggest a different course of action? Forget the stupid commission check. Bethe trusted advisor to your customer that they so badly seek and don’t worry about pushing a product or solution. Advise…that is your job! When you do that, the money WILL follow…it always does. That does not mean that you are going to get every deal, but you will keep your integrity and you will keep the respect of the customer. They WILL come back.
Some would argue with me when you look at the role of a Pre Sales guy the goal is to SELL! It is…but you always need to do so with integrity. You need to maintain your personal integrity and that of your company. Consider that next time you have multiple solutions to present to a customer but are “highly encouraged” to push one particular solution because it is more expensive (but clearly the wrong solution). Take care of your customer, and they will take care of you. Go for the quick buck and leave your customer unhappy, you’ll not have anyone on your side when you need them to be.
Sell with integrity, and just because they don’t come when you build it, maybe there is a reason why.