Making food, making money and Rock 'n' Roll - Part 5

A 6-part series depicting the events of a salesperson selling to a global food manufacturer without a business case or value-selling approach.

Stephen Jackett
December 15, 2022

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 conversation with Gill, Jon called Billy to tell him about the meeting and to make sure he would be there. He told Jon about the job offer and that he was undecided as to whether he would be taking it, therefore he may not be working for the company by then! Jon was lost for words…

Jon: “Billy we have worked hard to get to this point and I now have everything I need at my fingertips to get this over the line and solve the problems you are having!”

Billy: “But Jon I have been made a very compelling offer, this is a real opportunity for me.”

Jon protested: “Billy, you will be walking out on a project that you instigated, don’t you want to see it through?”

Jon continued: “This is a project that is likely to not only revolutionise your company but will be recognised industry-wide” … “and it will have your name all over it.”

Jon continued: “I am telling you this for the good for your career, this new opportunity may seem like an easy fix, but I think we both know what your best long-term option is.”

With that Jon hung up and started to prepare for the big meeting.

Later that week Jon, Jaapak (project manager) and Gill (pre-sales) walked up the long hill from the car park to the head office reception of the food manufacturing prospect.

Jon walked into the meeting room and saw Sally, who he had not met before, he felt himself blush a little. They all sat round the table, Jon felt nervous but was not sure if it was because of Sally’s presence or the high stakes of the meeting. But, one person was missing, Billy! The meeting opened with some idle chat about weekend plans, state of the government and of course the weather. Then as Jon was about to put down the opening gambit, Billy walked into the room. Jon felt suddenly at ease.

Jon opened the meeting by saying…

“We have completed a deep dive process and workflow analysis of your company. As a result of this, we have highlighted a number of gaps that can be filled with the new system. I understand that you have been through this report with Gill and Jaapak and have agreed it is a good representation of where we are and how the system can help.”

Sally responded, “Jon, you are correct, and it has been a tremendously helpful exercise but for us to get approval from the wider decision-making team we need to present a compelling business case.”

“I am glad you said that.” Jon said with a knowing smile on his face, “it is these gaps that I would like to talk about more to understand the current financial impact that they are having on your business.” Jon continued, “and not only the financial impact but to what degree the new system can help to improve or lessen this financial impact. I have some software that we can use to help us do this. At the end of the meeting, we should have a fully customised business case for you to take to the decision-making team”.

Sally and Jim were visibly taken aback, and Billy sat with a pleasant (perhaps slightly smug) grin on his face.  

The meeting progressed into the detail.

Stay tuned for the final part of this series to find out what happened during this meeting. Does Jon get his order?

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