Beggars Can’t be Choosers: What’s With That?!

June 10th, 2009 by

By Pat Hinds

Over the last few months, I have been working with a company to help them improve their market share in a specific vertical that is mature and large. My customer has a strong product suite and many competitive advantages including price and technology, but this vertical is a new product category and they are challenged by customer perception that the only choice is the reigning market leader. The current economic environment has created an opportunity for my client to improve its market share position in the vertical and product category, but they need to work hard to overcome these customer perception issues.

I have been meeting with my customer’s clients and prospects since the beginning of the year to determine what information is required from them to address their concerns and build a compelling case for change. I have been able to build a model on what customer information is required that will allow these customers to compete in the vertical and the market, but the challenge is the information gathering requires the client or prospect to do some work to provide the information.

This week I was speaking to one of the sales reps and he was proud that he was able to get a customer to provide the information that I had outlined. I asked the sales rep if I could see the information and he was hesitant to share it with me; after some arm twisting I was able to review the information. When I completed the review I came to the conclusion that he only captured half the information required; I mentioned this to the rep and he said, “beggars can’t be choosers.” The comment was made by an experienced sales rep and I was taken back by his statement!

If you are a solution focused sales person you can never take the position that you need to “beg” for information. Information is the key to success and if you have done a good job of identifying the customer objective they should be happy to share the required data with you. If you have not collected all the information you require to compete for the customer business your chances for success are greatly reduced. Solution salespeople need to take the time to identify what information is required to improve their sales success and have the patience to collect all the date related to build a solution for your customer.

Getting key information isn’t begging; it’s the necessary knowledge required to improve your sales results!

Topics: Business Intelligence