Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Give ‘Em Bacon, Not Bullsh*t

A few months back I lucked into cold catching a London-based whale of a prospect on a New York road trip. Even luckier, he agreed to come by my office the following day during an open morning time slot. Later that day, I came across a late-breaking headline announcing that my prospect’s company (which he was senior enough to have had a significant stake in) was being acquired for several billion dollars. An interesting wrinkle, but all I could do was show up with my ducks in a row as usual.

My whale waltzed in on time the next morning…hungover. Very hungover. “An early St. Patrick’s Day” he called it cheekily (I can say that, he’s English), and casually apologized for his bleary appearance, asking only for coffee before opening his ears to my cause. “Will espresso do?” I asked sheepishly. He agreed with a bemused shrug, and I shamed my former Barista training by clumsily pouring a watery double-shot into a chipped mug before ushering him into our balmy, echo-chamber of a conference room. 

He’s slinking in his chair, losing pallor quickly and collecting an impressive string of sweat beads with every slug of ill brew, but I plow through my planned presentation as if all is well.  The poor bloke (I’m just mixing jargons now) winced visibly when several attempts at fiery emphasis reverberated solely off the tinny ceiling. Trying to act unfazed, I concluded my well-practiced value proposition, and earnestly addressed his exceedingly polite, yet utterly feigning, questions. This meeting was going nowhere. I’d lost him.

Now, I’ve seen enough hangovers in my day to know this guy needed more than sympathy. He needed bacon. Bottomless coffee, and bacon. With eggs. All served without fuss or judgment.

We were in the uber-trendy Meatpacking district on an unseasonably sunny day with nothing to do but kill time together. He was a tourist on a victory lap after a big win. Any sales pro worth his salt would have taken one look at the situation and immediately called off any semblance of a formal meeting. This was an opportunity to make a friend, which is a hell of a lot better than a prospect, whether he happens to be one or not. I, however, was sodium free that day. No minerals at all.

Professionalism is in the eye of the beholder. In this case, being a pro meant being a bro. Something I’m quite well suited to actually, but that day I lost my way. I pitched because I had permission to pitch from the right guy to hear it. Sales is about relationships, not pitching. That’s certainly nothing new, but it’s something to remember in all scenarios. More gets done with bacon than bullsh*t. Lesson learned, again.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this useful info. Keep updating same way.
    Regards,AshishSales Training