Security's Everyman

Security's Everyman

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

How to NOT sell me security products (Part 2)

This is a continuation of my earlier post. I'm adding to it for a couple of reasons. I wanted to tell more of the story than time permitted on the bus this morning and I received a pretty good comment from a former sales person looking at this from the perspective of a sales person. I'm going to post Sam's comment and then reply to it while adding more details.

Having been in that (sales) role many times, I have to say that your statement cries out "pigeonhole". In other words, a statement people would tell a salesperson in order to get them off their back, but without intention of follow up. I can't tell you how many times I've heard someone tell me something similar and never, ever follow through with their word (i.e. will talk to you after the first of the year - yeah, right). I'm just scratching the surface on this comment, though.

On top of this, it sounds to me like you're making a business decision based on a personal experience with a salesperson. That doesn't sound like the right thing to do, either. What if the company offered a great solution? You're going to pass it up because a salesperson ticked you off???

I'm not saying you are, but my experience has been that many customers lie just as much as their sales folks do. Two sides to each coin.

Sam, You make some good points and I realize that you are talking in generalities and not specifics, but I still get to reply because it's my blog. :) While I will admit that in the past I have put sales people off by telling them "we'll talk later" but I also usually tell them "You call me". That way it's clear that the ball is in their court. I may not be interested now but in a few weeks or months I may be. I always try and be honest with them and let them know if what they are selling fits any of my needs. If it doesn't then I tell them "Not now, maybe later". If I really want their product then if I don't hear from them w/i the set time period I'll reach out to them or someone else that can get me the same product.

This case was a little different. She had been pushing me to try and get this ordered before the end of the year. I had told her numerous times that I did not need her product at this time. It would be nice to have and would provide added security. It would also be easier to manage than the 2 or 3 free products that I'm currently using to do the same thing. I had also told her that even if I did want and need it right now that there was no way that I could get it through procurement in time to get end of year pricing. I explained to her that our procurement process is painfully slow and that no matter how important it was or what level of management wanted it things would not speed up to the point to have it approved by end of year. I explained that since it was not a need that I would not be able to get management sponsorship to "rush" it through. I explained that by waiting until next year I was not putting myself in a bad position. I also explained that the company would rather pay more and NOT rush than rush and make a wrong decision. I also explained that I was still evaluating other vendor offerings to meet these needs and that I had NOT made a decision as to which one I would choose. Yet she still made the decision to go to the CIO and try to tell him how much he needed this product. He didn't even know that I was evaluating products because it's not high enough on my list to let him know yet.

As for the "making a business decision based on a personal experience with a salesperson" comment you are right. I'm making the conscious decision to not do business with her based on several factors. First, I had made it clear that we were not ready to purchase a product. Second, I had given her a time to get back to me to further discuss this. Third, I had told her that talking to the CIO would produce no results because he does not evaluate and recommend products. Forth, She is extremely pushy. Fifth, She lied to the CIO and told him that I wanted the product and that we had a conference call lined up for the following day. Sixth, she pissed me off. Seventh, there are several other vendors that do the same thing just as well as her product. Now I can get passed number 6 because I've been pissed off by sales people before and still bought from them. Not to mention I've pissed off my fair share of people in the past. I have a very hard time getting past number 1-4 because I had been clear in making my needs, wishes, desires, etc known. I can't get past number 5 because the combination of 1-4 plus 5 shows that she has very little personal integrity. If she is willing to lie and go behind my back to make a sale how can I be expected to trust her in what she is telling me regarding the product, service, etc... (Lets not go into the "everyone lies" bit b/c even though any lie is not good there are limits).

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