A 6-part series depicting the events of a salesperson selling to a global food manufacturer without a business case or value-selling approach.
DISCLAIMER: this is a true story. The events depicted in this story took place in the United Kingdom in 2018. At the request of the subjects, the names have been changed and some events dramatised. Out of respect for the customers, the rest has been told exactly as it occurred.
After the call with Billy, Jon decides to take a period of reflection over the weekend with the hope of teasing some more information from Billy on the golf course.
Over the course of a round of golf, of which Jon took a tactical defeat, both Jon and Billy decided a different approach was needed. Jon asked Billy, “If stock wastage is not an issue for you then how do I get to understand what is?” Billy simply replied in a deadpan tone:
Jon considered Billy’s reply over the rest of a rather uncomfortable weekend, along with the implications of this advice. Jon decided to ask for some help from some pre-salespeople he knew in the office.
Jon woke on Monday morning with slight trepidation about the day ahead but decided to fall back on his confidence and charisma. He blasted into the office that morning with a tremendous sense of purpose and determination – Jon was back on his game.
Jon: “Hey Gill, one of my customers has asked for a customised financial justification for our solution.”
Gill replied: “Throw them over an industry Ranger TEI report.”
Jon: “I’ve already done that; they said it bears no reflection on their business so it’s of no use to them in making a decision.”
Gill replied: “Well, Google it.”
Jon felt slightly fobbed off, he didn’t like it but felt positive in the face of adversity so, off to Google he went. Jon Googled ‘Building a customised business case’ and was confronted with a cascade of advice, whitepapers, spreadsheet models; none of which seemed the simple quick fix he wanted. He began to lose momentum, but then in the distant light, in the keyword ad section he saw:
“Dark Finesse – easily build customised business cases to your customers exacting requirements with style and finesse.”
Booooom, Jon thought that is right up my street! Jon called them and discovered that they sold a software platform that automated most of the process. All he had to do was ask the customer a few questions, listen carefully, put the answers into the software and voila - a business case! Jon paid for a license from his own cash, it’s a fraction of the cost of a Ranger TEI report and would allow him to repeat the process for each of his customers! Happy days, bargain, this all seemed too good to be true. Only problem was now Jon had to do something that was not in his comfort zone of talking the talk, he now had to walk the walk…
Tune into part 4 to find out what Jon did next.