Wednesday, October 28, 2009

But Fear Itself...

Imagine the suspension or temporary loss of the lifestyle you now have?

Notice I didn't use the phrase "loss of job" or "loss of income". I also didn't use "lifestyle you enjoy" because, c'mon now. Having fun yet?

That fear COMPLETELY runs your life. It's why when your bosses boss makes a joke, you pretend it's hilarious. How's that feel?

It's why when your supervisor tells you to do something that's WAY out of alignment with what you KNOW is do it anyway. You do that stuff every day. You're a team player, right? Pah-leeeeease.

You've got a family to feed, you've got children to educate, you've got elderly parents who are or will soon be leaning on you, right? Check, check and check here too. (And man oh man, this message is not being delivered from a Glass House...I've been that guy before...FOR YEARS...though I never laughed at the joke from the Sr. VP of Strategic Paradigm Leveraging).

I was raised working class in a close-knit upper-middle class town on the Northshore of Boston. A couple dozen of my close friends W2 at 200K and up every some cases, WAY up. I've known these people since elementary school and we were at each others weddings. We talk...and they tell me things..often they tell me things I don't want to know. They are GREAT providers, good people and- more often than not- are just trying to do the right thing.

The difference between the financial independence mindset and the typical corporate salaried high-income earner is often the difference between Tiger Woods and me accidentally destroying a golf course.

(I should add "self-made" to 'financial independence'. Most Trust Fund kids-turned adult arrive in the biggest boat with a closet full of pharmaceuticals to make them feel better).

You hear that "..tick, tick, tick."? You know what that sound is.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

How Much?

I vividly recall being in a vendor trade show booth as a young buck. A passerby with a virtual trashbag full of free marketing refuse stopped in to speak with me.

She asked me what a particular product cost....I told her.

I was immediately pounced on by a "seasoned sales veteran" of my company. "NEVER, EVER tell them the price!!!" he roared at me. He then explained how we must, on the spot, create the time and opportunity to sell VALUE first. VALUE, VALUE, NEVER, EVER he bellowed again.

In the fancy-pants parlance of the prestigious, tier-one consulting firms, my colleague is technically known as "an idiot".

There will be times where somebody-usually a customer- will ask you the price point blank. Got a relationship with them?...great, go ahead and jovially ask them "Are you buying on price again, Fred?.." (Make sure their name is Fred). Joke with them that you hear the sound of somebody kicking some tires.

We always want to sell value first, preferably right away. But if a customer or a prospective customer asks you what something costs...especially if it has a list price/SKU, tell them. Otherwise you lump yourself in with the untold millions of other salespeople...the type of salespeople that we all want to avoid.

If what you sell is a service, give em' the ol' housepainter example. Tell them a housepainter can't quote a price without thoroughly examining the house.

It's been my considerable experience that the "How Much" people very rarely buy a thing. Just tell them.