The Importance of Compelling Need

I, like you, take a fair number of incoming sales calls. I don’t have (nor want) a gatekeeper to screen them away. If it’s a recording, I put the call on hold and forget about it. If it’s someone reading a script poorly from a company that I don’t care about, I’ll do the same or just hang up. Occasionally, it’s a real sales call from a real person and although they may have a script or an outline, they are trying to engage me in the conversation. I’ll often play along to see what happens.

Last week I took a call from a person that I’ve “seen around”. Carries himself well. He’s the principal. Friendly. Gives no appearance of being incapable, professionally. I like him, and if somebody asked me about him, I’d say something like, “Seems like a good guy, but I’ve never heard him talk about the stuff that he does and I don’t know anyone who uses him”. Truthful, but not exactly an endorsement.

OK, so back to the call. He calls and says, “Hi, Rick this is _____.” I reply, “Hey, _____! What’s happening? How was Christmas?” We exchanged a few more pleasantries and _____ said, “Well, Rick, this is my official sales call.” I replied with something like, “Cool.” but I thought, “It’s about time.” We met several months ago. _____ is in a very competitive industry. I have someone that does what he does for me. I have several people in my network that do what he does. (Interestingly, I can only remember one other “sales call” from any of the others.)

So, he told me that he’d like to schedule a meeting where we could talk about where I am, what he does and then he’ll go away to do a proposal for me. I replied that we’re expecting our first grandchild any minute (still waiting as I write), we have new kitchen cabinets being delivered on 1/15 and the plumber’s coming to redo our bathroom before that. I have important business events happening on 1/17, 1/20 and 1/24 that all need preparation, a cruise scheduled for the first week in February and the kitchen will be installed shortly thereafter. The only other things that I kinda expected was a trip to Mexico before we opened up our beach house in early April.

How’s that for a stall? I not only put him off for almost two months, but he understands how busy I am and believes that it would have been impossible for me to meet with him. Now, here’s the truth. I HAVE NO COMPELLING NEED TO MEET WITH HIM! I DON’T KNOW WHAT, IF ANYTHING, HE’S EVER DONE FOR ONE OF HIS CLIENTS THAT I NEED DONE. I DON’T KNOW IF MY GUY HAS UNDERPERFORMED. HE WANTS TO SCHEDULE A MEETING AND HASN’T PUT ANY SPECIFIC ITEM ON THE AGENDA AND WITHOUT AN AGENDA ITEM, WE’LL NEVER MEET. Am I too busy to meet? I suggest that most of _____’s clients are busier than I am, but forget the rest of them. Since I spoke with _____, I’ve developed a stuffy nose. If I still have it on January 2nd, I’m gonna call my doctor and see him ASAP! I will make myself available when he is available. Why? I HAVE A COMPELLING NEED!

_____, I’ll agree that we should meet, but we should probably talk about what we could do for you rather than what you can do for me. Your move.

3 thoughts on “The Importance of Compelling Need

  1. Linda, it appears that he needs mine, but until he knows it, there’s no compelling need from his side. If this is the only time it happened, no problem. But what if it happens once a week? Can he afford to be losing 50 times whatever a sale to me would have been worth?From my side, I don’t know if I need his stuff because he never asked any important questions.Thanks for your loyalty and support, Linda.I hope that 2007 is as happy, successful and fun as you want it to be!Rick

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