Dictionary.com offers these definitions. Customers Disciples Evangelists Members
Sorry, God. It happened again. The priest started his sermon off this Sunday with this (paraphrased) introduction and question.
At the beginning of the Church, Jesus picked the 12 apostles as his disciples.
Those 12 were instructed to go where the Church wasn’t and make more disciples and the Church grew.
At some point, a different class developed. That of being a member rather than a disciple.
Now the Church struggles. What is it about members?
So, this is what happened in my mind. If the Church didn’t have members, if it had only disciples, would it be struggling, today? Similarly, if a business turns every customer (member) into an evangelist (disciple), wouldn’t that be a good thing? Then I started wondering what happened to the Church? How did it happen? What were the signs? Could it have been prevented? How to fix it now? Then, I made the leap to how does any organization, company, or firm ask and answer these same questions about itself?
Would that be a good thing?
Now, this is interesting.
I’ve always interpreted ‘No Soliciting’ signs as “Please don’t try to sell me. I can’t say, ‘No.'”
Frank raises interesting questions.
Do you want to be approached by salespeople as you’re heading into a restaurant, store, gas station, or any other place of business? (I’m reminded of being on a Caribbean beach, street, or parking lot and being asked to buy timeshares or my wife to get her hair braided.)
Does the owner get to pick who does business on his property? How about the Chevy guy that hands out business cards or coupons to prospects roaming the Ford lot?
I also put this question on LinkedIn. There’s lots of places for you to comment.
Remember this post? He’s very upset with me. He’s emotionally involved and he’s upset with the person that put us together. He told him not to do him any more favors like the introduction to me. Too bad because the person that made the introduction makes a lot of introductions that turn into a lot of money for a lot of people. This guy should save himself a lot of grief, aggravation and money and shut his business down now. Interestingly, he missed the fact that I might have had a referral for him. I think that he should tear down his wall.
By contrast, I share this email exchange from this morning.
I’m gonna delete names and emails, but leave times and messages.
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2008 5:33 AM
what is it you do here
Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 6:07 AM, Rick Roberge wrote: Tom How do I know you? Rick
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2008 6:20 AM
To: Rick Roberge
Subject: Re: information
(In between, I found Tom on LinkedIn. So, I called him. Then sent the following.)
Fri, Jun 13, 2008 at 7:33 AM, Rick Roberge wrote: Tom, I just called. The lady answered. I could hear you talking on the other line and you told her, “Tell him I’ll call back.” Then we were disconnected. What’s webslinger?
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2008 8:26 AM
To: Rick Roberge
Subject: Re: information
sorry rick i was outside with a contractor webslinger took me to a site called alcom and you were on the site anytime i see anything to do with rainmaking i want to know more
From: Rick Roberge
Sent: Friday, June 13, 2008 8:52 AM
Subject: RE: information
OK, you’re legit. Call my cell and I’ll answer your question(s). (and I gave him all my contact info.)
He did. We talked for 24 minutes and 38 seconds. We’re having lunch on the 18th.
See the difference? @gmail and I already have a two way relationship. The other guy’s hiding behind his wall.
As I was getting going this morning, I was thinking back to a client that told me, “I know I was sold…I just don’t know when.” at the end of our first meeting. That sales call happened at least 10 years ago and for the past 10+ years I’ve thought that her comment was a compliment on my ‘sales ability’. This morning I realized that it wasn’t about me. It was about her. She didn’t have an issue with her “Buy Cycle“.
Most of the time that I hear talk about “buy cycle” issues, it’s about the need to think about it, shop around, get multiple bids, or do more research. This morning, I realized that “buy cycle issues might also include, ‘the belief that salespeople are basically dishonest’, ‘the fear that if you actually listen to the salesperson and answer questions honestly, the salesperson will sell you something that you don’t want or need’, ‘the fear that if I show that I’m beginning to think that this salesperson has the solution, he will overcharge me’, or ‘the fear of being sold, period’.
In other words, it’s a trust issue. They don’t trust the salesperson so they put up a super strong defensive wall to keep the salesperson from discovering the truth because they don’t believe that the salesperson would do right by them because (Are you ready?)……the salesperson needs to make the sale, will do anything to make the sale, even if it’s not a good fit. And they know this because (Are you sure that you’re ready?)
It’s what they would do!
Some salespeople believe that “whatever it takes” includes unethical stuff. It doesn’t. If you, as a prospect, don’t trust, you won’t be trusted. If you, as a prospect, don’t answer questions truthfully, you won’t get truthful answers. If you, as a prospect, put up a huge wall, you won’t be able to get through your prospect’s walls.
So, the Golden Rule of Selling is the Golden Rule.
Let me close the way I think The Sales Archaeologist would close, by paraphrasing a Ronald Reagan quote.
Mr. Salesman, tear down this wall!
I had a conversation with a guy who sells mailing lists two weeks and two days ago. I blogged about him here. I followed up with the promised email and ended with, “Call if you have questions.”
You should know that we were introduced to each other.
So I called a week ago and left a voice mail message to call me back.
I left another message yesterday.
Today, a company owner asked me if I knew where to get a list of VP Sales based in New England.
I said, “No.”
Seriously, would you take the chance that this idiot wouldn’t return my friend, the company owner’s call?
If you’re not gonna take or return calls, why should anyone take or return yours?
So, tonight, I’m minding my own business, when I get a new email in my inbox….from Guy Kawasaki?
Huh? That’s right, Guy “The Evangelist” Kawasaki. Uh huh! Guy “How to Drive Your Competition Crazy” Kawasaki. What the heck does he want with me?
Here’s the message.
I am the CEO of a company called Nononina. We operate a website that is an “online magazine rack” organized by topics such as Fashion, Celebrities, Sports, Gaming, Macintosh, Science, Green, and Autos. Your feed is included here:
You can see all our topics here:
We have Alltop badges that you can add to your site/blog here:
Please tell your readers about Alltop.
Well, my mama didn’t raise no fool and I’m sure not gonna say, “No.” to Guy Kawasaki, so I’m telling you about alltop which is a list of all the top blogs. You can click the first link and my blog’s there. There’s a bunch more categories at the main link and my badge is to the right under ‘blogs that I read’.
What a day!
Money isn’t everything, but….
I’ve been broke and I’ve been flush. Flush is better.
Fake it ’til you make it.
As you may know, I network a bit. It’s not unusual for me to be in a room with 2-300 other salespeople, smiling, shaking hands, swapping business cards, shmoozing, 2-3 times a week. Sometimes I just watch and shake my head. Engineers go to engineering school. Franchisees get ‘trained’ at the home office. CPA’s and lawyers have to get licensed. Contractors learn their trade (apprentice, journeyman, master). Photographers, decorators, web designers, IT consultants, etc. learn to do what they do, BUT…………………how many of them go to ‘sales school’?
Seriously, how many of them are gonna exchange business cards and never speak with that person again because they can’t get the person on the phone? How many of those experts are going to need three sales meetings to get a ‘one call close’ done? How many of those business owners are going to have to discount their price to get the business?
Ready? According to the U.S. Census, at least 80% of U.S. households didn’t make it in 2006 and it could be as high as 96%. Flip it around by saying, “19.1% of U.S. households earned over $100K and only 3.5% of the households earned over $200K.” Here’s the source.
I was reminded of this post.
So, if you ever see me shaking my head at a networking event, don’t ask. I probably just watched one of the 80% miss a buying signal and walk away or agree to call the following week even though the prospect’s body language said, “Welcome to voice mail jail!” All that education wasted because they don’t want to learn how to sell effectively.